Posts Tagged ‘alma jury’

Photo shoot with the new jury

September 30, 2014

September usually means a photo session with the new jury, and this year is no exception. Brilliant photographer Stefan Tell caught the jury members this morning, before their meeting. The result will be published on the ALMA web and in our press room later this week.
Stefan_1 Stefan_2 Stefan_3 Stefan_4 Stefan_5

Hello there, Katarina Kieri

July 30, 2014
Katarina Kieri. Photo: Daniel Werkmäster

Katarina Kieri. Photo: Daniel Werkmäster

Katarina Kieri is member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury since July 1st. Her body of work encompasses novels, poetry and short stories for children, young adults and adults. Initially she intended to write only poetry, but she later felt increasingly drawn to the prose medium.

Tell us about yourself. Who is Katarina Kieri?

A description might sound like this: Born in Luleå with deep roots in the Torne Valley. An author who write books instead of going around feeling ashamed about oneself.

You have published two novels, four collections of poetry and a dozen children’s books since your debut in 1993. You´ve also written several plays. What’s your relationship to the different genres?

For me, the dividing line is not between writing for adults or for children and young people, but between the prose on one hand, and poetry, drama and picture books on the other. The former is all about structuring thoughts in a line that fairly can be followed. The latter is more out of being in some kind of state and to try to describe it. It’s a totally different way to behave in terms of work. In one case I sit on my chair at my desk working all day. In the second case I wander restlessly around anywhere, which is pretty exhausting.

You are trained recreation teacher and worked as such for nearly ten years. How has that influenced your writing?

Actually most as an extraordinarily wrong choice in my life. When I had worked as a recreation teacher for eight years my whole body screamed after change. And, as I´m a lucky person living in one of the world’s richest countries, I had the possibility to sit down and think about what I really wanted to do. It didn´t take long before the answer became obvious to me. I wanted to grab hold of my writing. When I visit school classes now days, I usually say that it’s good to go the wrong way, because then you know you should change direction.

What gives you inspiration in your writing?

Complications within and between people. And the fact that we are so wonderfully irrational and contradictory. For example.

What will you be reading in your hammock this summer?

I will read a biography of Tove Jansson, a randomly selected Moomin book and Eyvind Johnson’s novel Romanen om Olof (The novel about Olaf). Everything might not be read, but to me the dream about summer reading is almost as good as the actual reading.

New members of the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

June 10, 2014

The Swedish Arts Council has appointed four new members of the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The new chairman from July 1 is Boel Westin, who has been Professor of Literature at Stockholm University since 1998, with a special focus on literature for children and young adults. She is Chief Editor of A History of Swedish Children´s Literature which is due to be published next year and internationally well-known for her biography on Tove Jansson.

Boel Westin. Photo: Eva Dalin

Boel Westin. Photo: Eva Dalin

– It’s an honour and an interesting task that I’m really looking forward to, says Boel Westin. The award has an important place in international children’s literature and it will be exciting to discuss all the nominees with my new colleagues.

The other new jury members are author and illustrator Anna Höglund, author Katarina Kieri and political science graduate Johan Palmberg, who represents Astrid Lindgren’s family. Previous chairman Larry Lempert will remain on the jury as an ordinary member for one year, while the others have been appointed for a period of four years.

Anna Höglund and Katarina Kieri have both won multiple awards for their books. Anna Höglund, who illustrates other people’s books as well as her own, most recently won the Snowball award for best Swedish picture book for Om detta talar man endast med kaniner (You only talk about this with rabbits) and has previously received prizes including the German Children’s Literature Award, the August Prize and the Elsa Beskow Plaque.

Katarina Kieri has published novels, poetry collections and ten books for children and young adults. Her awards include the August Prize, Tidningen Vi’s Literature Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize. Her latest children’s book Månkan och jag har en hemlighet (Månkan and I have a secret), which came out earlier this year, is a co-operation with illustrator Emma Virke.

Johan Palmberg recently moved back to Sweden after a year in London and, like his predecessor Annika Lindgren, works at Saltkråkan AB on copyright issues concerning the works of Astrid Lindgren.

– The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has a jury whose expertise is both broad and deep, comments Staffan Forssell, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council. Like their predecessors, the new members possess both knowledge and integrity, while the fact that Larry Lempert is staying on brings continuity to the work of the jury.

The new jury members replace Mats Berggren, Ulf Boëthius, Ulla Rhedin and Annika Lindgren. The new jury will meet for the first time in August and will announce the nominees for the 2015 award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

Anna Höglund. Photo: Stefan Tell. Lilla Piratförlaget.

Anna Höglund. Photo: Stefan Tell. Lilla Piratförlaget.

Katarina Kieri. Photo: Daniel Werkmäster

Katarina Kieri. Photo: Daniel Werkmäster


Johan Palmberg. Photo: Saltkråkan

Johan Palmberg. Photo: Saltkråkan

”A keen sense of curiosity when it comes to new books and authors is what drives me.”

July 4, 2012

Photo: Maria Annas

Mats Kempe, librarian, author and new member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury took the time to answer some questions from the award office during his summer holiday in Sundsvall.

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Mats Kempe?

I feel a lot like an intermediary. I started out in adult education, first as a student and later as a teacher. I’ve always thought it was great fun to discover new things and then be able to share them, and I’ve enjoyed the intermediary roles I’ve had, such as teacher, librarian, author and critic. A keen sense of curiosity when it comes to new books and authors is what drives me.

You work at Världsbiblioteket, the World Library, and have many years’ experience of reading promoting work in an international context. In what way do you find that books from different countries enrich the reader?

Above all, I think people discover great new literature by broadening their perspective. In my case, for instance, Asian and African literature have provided some of my finest reading experiences in recent years. There are lots of interesting books that don’t get to us in Sweden, or that may have been translated but don’t reach potential readers. I think the book market often focuses a little too hard on domestic and Anglo-Saxon literature, especially when it comes to marketing. As a librarian, I know that readers are curious about literature from all parts of the world. I get the sense that even other European literature easily gets overlooked, and the works that are translated are often not presented in any kind of context, such as an author’s entire oeuvre or an international literary trend. Sometimes it’s just random titles that only stay in bookstores for a short time. In libraries they eventually end up in the depository or are disposed of. Often these are really good books – they’re seldom disappointing. But on the positive side, I get the feeling this situation is changing.

Another good thing is discovering different narrative techniques, different literary traditions and trends, which as an author I find really stimulating. I’m constantly getting new ideas and impulses from world literature.

What makes a book a good book?

A text needs a dynamic of some kind, it has to examine something, write about something beyond what readers already know. For me, the narrator’s tone is important too – the narrator should be someone I enjoy hanging out with while I’m reading the book. Once I’ve found a narrative tone I like, I’ll go on to read all that author’s books – even if not all of them are brilliant. And it becomes a sort of conversation, where it’s more important to follow the author’s writing process than the individual books. So, for me, a good book is a text with a dynamic – an examination that seeks out new literary territory – and with something in the narrative tone that makes me want to keep reading.

What’s also important in children’s and young adult literature is the relationship between text and pictures. When you add pictures, it creates a whole new dynamic in the text. I absolutely love picture books, and I’m always making new discoveries. I’m excited by the idea that adult fiction could include more pictures, just like children’s and young adult fiction.

How do you feel about your new role as a jury member for the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature?

It’s going to be fantastic! The best thing about it is the opportunity to get a broader perspective on world literature. Making new discoveries and sharing them will be so exciting. I’m looking forward to playing my part in choosing new award recipients whose works can become better known around the world. I also hope to help raise the international profile of the award and its recipients.

What will you be reading in your hammock this summer?

Per Nilsson’s Baklängeslivet (“Life Backwards”), but of course I’ll also be browsing through some of the candidates on this year’s nomination list.

More information about Mats Kempe here.