Nils Chr. Moe-Repstad (Kristiansand, 1972) intended to become a mountaineer, but life had other plans. Constantly seeking out limits, he found them when he was paralyzed in a diving accident at the age of 19. Afterward, he spent a lot of time in libraries, began to read poetry and later to write it. Moe-Repstad continues to seek out limits but now in literature.
His debut came in 1996 with Nå (Now), which was well-received; after this poetry collection came seven more. Moe-Repstad has collaborated several times with artists and musicians in his capacity as a poet. One of his most recent collections, the two-part Teori om det eneste (Theory of the singular), was recorded as a CD, on which Moe-Repstad reads his poems backed by the musicians Nils Petter Molvær, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. In the recording, Moe-Repstad’s delivery sounds thoughtful; you can almost hear how meticulously he writes his texts. The CD is accompanied by a full-length English translation (by Ren Powell) of the collection.
Moe-Repstad’s most recent collection, 19 forgiftninger (19 poisonings), was published in 2014. It covers poisonings in the broadest sense of the word: infections, viruses, epidemics, pollution, political corruption and economic exploitation. It deals with both concrete and metaphorical poisonings, poisonings in the past and the present, or both, such as in ‘Poisoning 2’:
Noah’s fever reaches 102
[ . . . ]
Noah is a virus
3-5 days and all of the humans in the arc
have a temperature of 102
Noah is a virus that has survived since biblical times. It remains encapsulated in Ararat mountain but turns up again in the present age when an archeological expedition conducts an investigation:
temperatures begin to climb
15-20 days and the air temperature
over the Ararat plain rises
Not only are the subjects in 19 poisonings are wide-ranging, but the references to the Bible, literature, science, economics and history are also highly diverse. The Norwegian media often claims that Moe-Repstad asks a lot from his readers, labelling him an intellectual poet. But even if you don’t immediately recognize all the references and terms Moe-Repstad uses, his poetry still captivates with its threatening undertones: it grabs you by the throat and screams to be reread.
Nå (Now), Kolon, Oslo, 1996
Rekyl (Recoil), Kolon, Oslo, 1999
Sannheten og andre konstruksjoner (The truth and other constructions), Kolon, Oslo, 2002
Undergangssanger (Songs of downfall), Kolon, Oslo, 2005
I de brente restene av alt du har lovet meg (In the burning remains of everything you promised me), Kolon, 2007
I hundevaktene (Nightshifts), Kolon, Oslo, 2009
Teori om det eneste (Theory of the singular), Flamme, Oslo, 2013
19 forgiftninger (19 poisonings), Flamme, Oslo, 2014
Teori om det eneste(Theory of the singular), Jazzland/Universal, Oslo, 2013