Friday, 17 April 2009

Horisont 1/2009 - Inga-Britt Wik


The Ostrobothnian-based literary magazine Horisont has been around for decades, and still now in 2009 four further issues are planned after the first, which appeared recently. The theme of this issue is the Finland-Swedish poet Inga-Britt Wik who died last year. To give some idea who she was, I will translate the small biographical note from Horisont:

Inga-Britt Wik was born 18th December 1930 in Vasa. Both parents were brought up in the countryside, her father as the son of fisherfolk and smallholders from the island of Replot in the Vasa archipelago. Her mother was the daughter of a so-called "America widow" from Vörå. (An America widow was similar to a "grass widow", except that the husband was living in America.) Her father Arvid Wik worked as a customs officer during the 1930s, while her mother ran a small grocer's shop. During the war years, her father was called up, and spent time in the army first in Hangö then, during the Continuation War, in the Karelian Isthmus.

Inga-Britt Wik moved to Helsinki in 1950, and graduated in philosophy in 1956. In 2003 she returned to Vasa. She was principally a poet, and all her books appeared with the Schildts publishing house in Helsinki. Key themes in her poetry are various women's rôles, love, feminism, the environment, but the basic tone of her poetry reflects nature.

She was married to the author and film producer Jörn Donner from 1954 to 1962, later marrying the children's psychiatrist Gustav Amnell. The marriage and separation from Donner caused her to write the books Ingen lycklig kärlek (No Happy Love; 1988) and Bryta upp (Breaking Up; 1996). She was also the editor of poetry by Solveig von Schoultz and Lars Huldén.

I shall be translating a couple of her poems from this issue of Horisont later in a new thread.

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