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A Cloud of Witnesses by Kjell Espmark, trans. By Robin Fulton Macpherson

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Kjell Espmark (b.1930) was Professor of Comparative Literature at Stockholm University from 1978 to 1995 and has been a member of The Swedish Academy since 1981, serving as Chairman of The Nobel Committee from 1988 to 2004. He has published twenty volumes of poetry, ten novels, and over a dozen volumes of literary criticism. His many awards include The Bellman Prize, The Tranströmer Prize, Il Premio Capri and Il Premio Internazionale Camaiore. He is an officer of L'Ordre de Mérite. He has been translated into over twenty languages. Of the Spanish version of his latest book of poetry, Martín López-Vega wrote in El Mundo: “The Creation confirms that we are faced with one of the most important poets of our time.”

Many of Espmark's poems are dramatic monologues in which the dead, some famous, some anonymous, speak to us, hoping for our attention. Another consistent feature of his poetry, and one which we can see extending over six decades, is the coherence we find within each volume, echoes and cross-references linking poems not only within a single collection but from book to book.

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