Øyvind Rimbereid was born in Stavanger, Norway, in 1966. He has a degree in Nordic languages and literature from the University of Bergen and has worked as an instructor at the Skrivekunstakademiet (Academy of Writing) in Bergen. He is also a versatile author of poetry, prose fiction and essays.
Rimbereid’s poetry can best be characterised as ‘combinatory’: he writes both short and long poems, epics, poems with contemporary and historical content, and poems that are both personal and collective. Many of his poems are also written in dialect. Perhaps the most striking example of this is Rimbereid’s long, epic poem Solaris Corrected (2004), which garnered a large and enthusiastic critical reception. It is a poem, but it is also a drama, with the action set in a western Norwegian coastal landscape in the year 2480. The narrator is the foreman for 123 robot workers who operate under the North Sea. Just as George Orwell created ‘newspeak’ and Anthony Burgess ‘nasdat’, Rimbereid created his Solaris dialect, spoken in ‘Organic 14.6’, or ‘Stavgersand’, in the year 2480. This dialect is a blend of words and expressions from Norwegian dialects, including Norse, as well as from other North Sea languages such as English, Danish, German and Dutch. “In a concrete linguistic move,” writes Professor Per Thomas Andersen, “Rimbereid shows in this way not just a typical Norwegian regionalism . . . but a point in more recent cosmopolitan theory: the linking together of the local and the global in a tight common fate – combined with a weakening of the national.” Solaris Corrected makes life in a future community feel both real and concrete.
In the most recent of Rimbereid’s four poetry collections, Herbarium (2008), he combines the botanical realia of flowers and cultural history with an exploration of current affairs and existential themes. For example, ‘Tulip’ is the story of the Dutch financial system and the tulip market:
and the prices rising majestically
[. . .]
twisted by a couple of exotic tulip varieties
and by at least ten times ten new and keen buyers.
Generael der Generaelen van Gouda:
December 1634–December 1635: 30% up.
December –May 1936: 50% up.
But how to hold on to
this thing that rose and rose
if not for this magical
Given the recent financial crisis, the poem’s consideration of bankers, bold economic decisions and high-risk investments is particularly relevant today.
Det har begynt (It Has Begun), 1993
Kommende år (Future Years), 1998
Som solen vokser (As the Sun Grows), 1996
Seine topografiar (Late Topographies), 2001
Trådreiser (Thread Travels), 2001
Solaris korrigert (Solaris Corrected), 2004
Hvorfor ensomt leve (Why Live Lonely), 2006
Sult-prisen, 2001 (Gyldendal Publishers annual literary prize to an eminent younger author)
Den norske Lyrikklubbens pris, 2002 (The Norwegian Poetry Club’s Prize)
Kritikerprisen, 2004 (The Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature)
The Brage Prize, 2008 (the annual Brage Prize recognises distinguished new literature)
Doblougprisen, 2010 (Doubloug Prize, a literature prize awarded for Swedish and Norwegian fiction by the Swedish Academy)
The Italien N. C. Kaser-lyrikpreises 2010