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Labelled with ICRA

Since 1979 logo

book cover

6 X 9 inches, 76 pages

ISBN 948259434

The Naked Machine

Selected Poems

Published by Forest Books Almenna Bókafélagið

Mattías Johannessen

Scandinavian Literature in Translation

THIS IS THE FIRST volume of a contemporary Icelandic poet to be published in English!

Already translated into many languages, Mattías Johannessen is now acknowledged as one of Iceland's greatest living poets. The translator, Marshall Brement, is also a poet and met Johannessen while American Ambassador to Iceland.

This is a broad selection of Johannessen's poetic output over 25 years. For those interested in Icelandic, there are some poems in the original language and a glossary on pronunciation.

She looked at me like a black cat
with yellow eyes
standing at my feet
wanting to be stroked.

She looked at me
with white transparent eyes
and there was silence between us.

Then I stroked her

Black Cat


Mattías Johannessen


Mattías Johannessen was born in Reykjavík on January 3rd, 1930. Educated at the universities of Iceland and Copenhagen, he began his career as a journalist with Iceland's leading newspaper, Morgunblağiğ. Within seven years he became their chief editor. Since his first book came out in 1958, he has written more than thirty books including novels, plays, short stories and poetry. A leading figure in the cultural life of Iceland, and more and more recognized in Scandinavia, Johannessen is almost unknown elsewhere. He was awarded the Icelandic Language Foundation prize in 1983.


Marshall Brement


Marshall Brement was born in New York City in 1932 and was educated at Brooklyn College and the University of Maryland. As a diplomat he became fluent in eight languages, one of which is Icelandic. During his career he has won many awards for distinguished public service and is the author of many "in house" publications. He writes poetry himself and is married to the novelist Pamela Sanders.

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