BALTICS Tomas Tranströmer

BALTICS Tomas Tranströmer


Translated from the Swedish by Samuel Charters with a photo essay by Ann Charters


Photographs by Ann Charters

Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

Tomas Tranströmer published his groundbreaking collection Baltics (östersjöar) in 1974. In this book-length poem, Tranströmer creates a literal and figurative landscape where his family history becomes the psychological, perhaps even the spiritual, history of the poet himself. Time, geography, a family, an island, a country, the labor of seamanship - these elements, and so many more, show a voice whose multiplicities and conjunctions intertwine to resemble something like the layers of a symphony, a symphony of narrative, of the minimal, the liminal, the image, collisions, and fragments. Baltics, as its plural name suggests, is an experiment in the conflation of time, a theme that has come to define Tranströmer's career as a poet. Out of print for nearly 40 years, this new edition contains a revised translation by Samuel Charters, a new afterword and translator's note, a series of photographs by Ann Charters, and the original Swedish text en face. 

26 copies have been hand-bound into cloth-covered boards. See Special Editions page for ordering information.

"It is especially moving to me now, with Tomas Tranströmer having just won the Nobel Prize in Literature, to have the generous and far-reaching Baltics available again, and in such a keen translation. Tomas Tranströmer leaves an indelible mark upon readers everywhere. The gifts of his poems are offered generously and without conditions. I cannot think of another poet who has left more lasting impressions - impressions which never cease, but instead keep creating new spheres of realities and imaginations. He is constantly a poet of nearness. We need Tomas Tranströmer's poetry as much, if not more, in this 21st century as we needed it in the last." 

—Michael Burkard


Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, was one of the most celebrated and influential poetic figures of his generation. He was born in Stockholm in 1931 and educated at the Södra Latin School and the University of Stockholm, where he received a degree in psychology. He began his psychology career in the early 1960s at Roxtuna, a juvenile corrections institute in Sweden, and worked for several decades in the field. Since the publication of 17 Dikter (17 Poems) in 1954, Tranströmer wrote eleven full-length collections of poetry, most recently Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma) in 2004. He was one of the world's most translated poets (with books appearing in numerous editions in over fifty languages). In addition to his renown as a poet, Tranströmer was also a highly regarded concert pianist and entomologist. He died in Stockholm in 2015.

168 pages | 5.5 x 7.5 in.
ISBN-13: 978-1-935635-14-7

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