A Different Practice
I try to not keep them entirely still
just get them (the words) to crowd around something
special (a theme) an idea that has such
weight that it
at least partially
can replace a person’s (your) glance
when it turns away (and from me)
– Fredrik Nyberg, from “Rotor blades: movements (1—5)" trans. J. Hayashida
A Different Practice is Jennifer Hayashida’s translation of Swedish poet Fredrik Nyberg’s influential book En annorlunda praktik, containing the five original sections “Rotor blades, movements 1—5,” “Pets—the private,” “You…,” “Shall these hands,” and “The Years.” Showing the influences of Ashbery, Roubaud, and Susan Howe, Nyberg’s quiet but forceful poems contend with the difficulties of using poetry as a form of remembrance. Through the transcription of memory, the collection creates its own fluid, mysterious, and startlingly intimate sense of time.
Fredrik Nyberg is a Swedish poet born in 1968, currently living in Gothenburg, Sweden. He attended the creative writing program at the University of Gothenburg, an institution which has fostered some of the country’s better-known writers, and has since become an established force in new forms of poetic expression there. En annorlunda praktik (A Different Practice) was his first book, published by Norstedts Förlag in 1998. Subsequent books Blomsterur - Förklaringar och Dikter (Clockwork of Flowers: Explanations and Poems), and Åren (The Years), were published in 2000 and 2002, respectively. In 2003, Nyberg wrote the play Tunnelsång (Tunnel Song), commissioned by Gothenburg’s Cinnnober Theater with the mission to stimulate and develop contemporary Swedish theatre. Nyberg serves on the editorial board of the Swedish literary publication OEI. Translations of his poetry appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of The Literary Review and the 2005 Spring/Summer issue of Circumference. His latest collection, Det blir inte rättvist bara för att båda blundar (It won’t be fair just because both shut their eyes), was put out by Norstedts in 2006, and his introduction to Erik Beckman’s Collected Poems was published in January of 2007.
Poet and translator Jennifer Hayashida was born in Oakland, CA, and grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm and San Francisco. She was recently awarded a 2007 PEN Translation Fund Grant for her translation of Nyberg’s Clockwork of Flowers: Explanations and Poems (Norstedts Förlag, 2000), and is the translator of Eva Sjödin's Inner China (Litmus Press, 2005). In addition, she has been a Fellow at the MacDowell colony and the recipient of a Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her poems and translations have appeared in The Literary Review, Insurance, The Asian Pacific American Journal, and Action, Yes; text-based work has been included in group exhibitions at The Vera List Center for Art and Politics and Artists Space. She received her MFA in writing from Bard College in 2003. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and teaches Asian American Studies at Hunter College and the University of California, Davis.