Translators from Icelandic

A list of active translators from Icelandic into several languages, some information about them and their translations.


Knut Ødegård

Norska Norwegian

Knut Ødegård, born 1945 in Molde, Norway, studied theology and philology at the Universities of Oslo and Cambridge. He is living in Reykjavik since 1984, partly also in his hometown Molde where he is taking care of his Norwegian duties. He is a poet and writer who published his first poetry book in 1967, since then he has published 44 books (poetry, novels, childrens books, essays, also three books about Iceland). His poetry books are translated into 43 languages, more than any other contemporary Norwegian poet.

In Norway he has been the director of publishing house Noregs Boklag, cultural director of county Trøndelag and is still a literary critic for Oslo newspapers. He organized the first international literary festival of Norway and also the literary academy (both named after the Nobel prize winner Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson). When moving to Iceland in 1984, he was offered the position as director of Nordic House and as such he was the founder - together with Thor Vilhjálmsson and Einar Bragi - of the Reykjavik international festival of literature.

As a translator from Icelandic, he has mainly focused on poetry, both old Icelandic and modern, he also has translated sagas and modern prose books.

For his merits he is decorated by the President of Iceland as a Commander with star of the Order of the Icelandic Falcon. He is also knighted with the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit and is a Commander of the papal Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Vatican).

He is a member of the Norwegian Academy. He is awarded with a Litt.D. h.c and Professor h.c.

Selected Translations

  • "Edda-dikt IV, Heltedikt, del 2", with an essay and comments, preface by Kari Vogt, Cappelen Damm publishers, Oslo 2016.
  • "Edda-dikt III, Heltedikt, del 1", with an essay and comments, preface by Lars Roar Langslet, Cappelen Damm publishers, Oslo 2015.
  • Gerður Kristný: "Blodhest", poems (with an essay), Cappelen Damm publishers, Oslo 2014.
  • "Kormaks saga", Saga publisher, Reykjavik 2014.
  • "Edda-dikt II, Gudedikt", with an essay and comments, preface by Jon Fosse, Cappelen Damm publishers, Oslo 2014.
  • "Edda-dikt I, Voluspå og Håvamål", with essay and comments, preface by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Cappelen Damm publishers, Oslo 2013.
  • Jóhann Hjálmarsson: "Storm er et vakkert ord", with an introduction, Solum publishers, Oslo 2007.
  • Matthías Johannessen: "Salmer i atomalderen", preface by Lars Roar Langslet, Cappelen publishers 2002.
  • Matthías Johannessen: "Om vindheim vide", poems, preface by Lars Roar Langslet, Cappelen publishers, Oslo 1994.
  • Hrafnhildur Hagalín Guðmundsdóttir: "Jeg er mesteren", drama, Oslo Nye Teater 1993.
  • Einar Már Guðmundsson: "Røde dager", novel, Cappelen publishers, Oslo 1992.
  • "Moderne islandske dikt", anthology with essay, poems by Stefán Höður Grímsson, Kristján Karlsson, Matthías Johannessen, Hannes Pétursson, Jóhann Hjálmarsson, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir og Gyrðir Elíasson, Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo 1990.
  • Einar Már Guðmundsson: "Ridderne av den runde trapp", novel, Cappelen 1986.
  • Thor Vilhjálmsson: "Fort fort, sa fuglen", novel (with an essay), Det Norske Samlaget 1983.
  • Einarr Skúlason: "Geisli", poem with an essay, illustrations by Bjørn Bjørneboe, Tiden Norsk Forlag publishers, Oslo 1982.
  • Eysteinn Ásgrímsson: "Lilja", poem with an essay, illustrations by Bjørn Bjørneboe, Tiden Norsk Forlag publishers, Oslo 1980.
  • Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson: "Ved brunnane", poems, Aschehoug publishers, Oslo 1976.
  • Einar Bragi: "Regn i mai", poems, Noregs Boklag 1973.