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last update:
 
15 Jul15

Lynne Hjelmgaard photo © copyright Jemimah Kuhfeld
 
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poetry favourites:
Ask the Moon – Dannie Abse
Seren Books
Shearsman Books
Jacket Magazine
Lungfull

and in the shop…
collections –
 
“A Boat Called Annalise”,
Seren;
 
“The Ring”,
Shearsman;
 
“Manhattan Sonnets”,
Redbeck Press

 

 

Lynne Hjelmgaard was born in New York City and lives in London. She taught Creative Art for children in various schools and institutions before she started writing poetry. She left the States in 1990 for the second time and has been living permanently in the U.K. since 2011. As a result of crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat with her husband she wrote poems that were later collected in Manhattan Sonnets. After her husband died in 2006, she received a residency grant for the Danish Academy in Rome where she wrote poems that later appeared in The Ring. A new book, A Boat called Annalise, is forthcoming with Seren in 2016.
 
Review comments:
 
First Collection, Manhattan Sonnets, Redbeck Press 2003:
 

Her sensibility is one of honed transience, from the last fluttering of the American immigrant experience still hovering over its native born generations to the peripatetic circumstances that have kept her in motion in adulthood. As a poet, Hjelmgaard mines both the stored experience of changing scenes – of light and languages, of sea alternating with land – and the immediacy of the voyager who travels light, who receives only to release again, who sees and names, who breathes in and having left attachment behind like some too-heavy belonging, breathes out.

 

Linda Healey, Tears in the Fence, Spring 2004

 

Lynne Hjelmgaard has an ear for memory, for the co-existence of the imagined and the real. Her Manhattan Sonnets, an homage to Edwin Denby’s Later Sonnets, are a marvellous evocation of his form and of Manhattan light in the 1960s. Their narration of her early life in Stuyvesant Town, NYC, meshes with the European background of the other sequences to present a woman who has crossed the Atlantic and muddy fields: ‘The sky is always there…’

 

Alice Notley

 
About The Ring:
 

The whole book is powered by the synergy of related poems. This arresting sequence is much more than that of a percipient tourist. Widowhood allows them to acquire a poignant universality.

 

Dannie Abse

 

The newly widowed narrator charts the vagaries of grief and loss across four European cities. Amidst the sense of dislocation and interminable searching are also moments of acceptance and letting go, as well as some beautifully observed scenes as the narrator casts the wry eye of an outsider trying to belong over her temporary homes.

 

from the Poetry Society Bulletin