One is a CROWD – Tone Hødnebø

Literature as a European mother tongue: In our series “One is a CROWD”, we introduce you to authors from all over Europe who will be involved in the CROWD omnibus reading tour, taking place from May to July 2016, featuring 100 authors who will be travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist from Oslo looks like, meet Tone Hødnebø!

Have you ever participated in colloborative author/ reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about it?

I’ve been attending writing courses and different seminars during my time as a poet, both as a student and teacher. Some years ago I met two Swedish poets and one Danish, and we used to meet in Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo occasionally to discuss each other’s texts, but we didn’t have a name for the group, so it was kind of non-official. For me it can be very interesting to read a text in progress, and also to have an opportunity to read texts both in Danish and in Swedish, which is quite similar to Norwegian. Of course there are differences, but that makes it even more interesting.

What is your favourite literary spot in Oslo? Please give us a link to the website of the spot/area.

My favourite literary spot is behind my desk, but beside that
there is much going on in Oslo, for example a night club
called Blå, where several literary arrangements are happening every month.

Oslo Poetry festival has been arranged for the last ten years in september, and Oslo Poetry film festival in January/February.

Smaller cities in Norway like Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Trondheim and Tromsø also have their own literary scene, for example Poesidigg in Bergen.

In Moss, a smaller town one hour south of Oslo, you have ”House of Foundation”, which is a bookstore and a place for exhibitions and literary readings…
They also have their own literary festival in august.

Which recent literary event fascinated you the most and why ?

It must have been listening to author Ole Robert Sunde at the National Library talking about a novel-triology written by Johan Borgen in March. The people working at The National Library in Oslo is subsequently trying to revive authorships by asking different living authors to choose an author and talk about them/or a book. An event before that was to listen to Eldrid Lunden being interviewed by poet Terje Dragseth, and talking about her poetry at Blå.

How do you feel about readers´ comment and feedback to your texts? Does it affect/alter your subsequent writing?

I always think about what people say/or comment upon my texts,
even though I’m my own worst critic.
It really means something to me to get a feedback, positive or negative. Poetry is to share something that is very individual,
and to exchange what cannot be delivered by any other means, so it’s both personal and not.

Anything else that is of interest/importance to you?

To sit all by myself to read or write on the one hand, and
to get out of my room to listen to other poets/ or to recite my own poems, on the other – is for me the great paradox of poetry. Poetry is not only abstract thought, but is written, i.e something concrete happening between thought – language – and what is written down. Poems means expanding in time and place, until the moment when everything gets lost. So poetry can capture something that else would have been forgotten.

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