2010 Festival Poet: Malena Mörling

MORLINGphotoMalena Mörling grew up in southern Sweden and has translated extensively from Swedish into English including the work of Tomas Tranströmer – see “April and Silence.” This might explain why her works seeks to transport readers into a new consciousness. In the midst of city hustle and bustle – passing buses, crowds of travelers swooshing by one other at the train station, shouting ambulances — Mörling chooses not to pull city dwellers out of the city into far-off green pastures. Instead, she draws readers closer to the physical world right at their disposal. Her poems offers what Phillip Levine calls “an enormous calm” in a less than calm universe.

Though her poems are minimalist and simple, Mörling finds a way to celebrate common things — such as the wind, trees, light, dusk, etc. — very much present and overlooked in urban landscapes. Nothing escapes her: the little girl sitting next to her on the airplane, the unnamed man she sees everyday at Grand Central Station, and the night’s darkness falling on objects in the house. Mörling is more than a idealistic dreamer or passive observer. In a sense, she is keenly aware of the possibility to be in a world within the world constantly pulling at us. (See “If There Is Another World”).

Mörling earned degrees from NYU and Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She currently teaches at The University of North Carolina, Wilmington and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at New England College. For more poems by Mörling, see “First Thought” and “A Wake.

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