Baron Bo Gustaf Bertelsson Carpelan (25.10.26 – 11.02.11) was a Finland-Swedish poet and author, member of the Finnish noble family Carpelan, who was born and died in Helsinki. Carpelan, who wrote in Swedish, attended the ‘Svenska normallyceum i Helsingfors’ and then studied history of literature at the ‘University of Helsinki’ where he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1960. He published his first book of poems in 1946, and then went on to compose numerous books of verse, as well as several novels and short stories: in 1997 he won the ‘Swedish Academy Nordic Prize’, known as the ‘little Nobel’. Bo Carpelan was the first to receive the ‘Finlandia Prize’ twice (in 1993 and 2005), and he also won the 2006 ‘European Prize for Literature’ and the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize‘ in 1977 for ‘I de mörka rummen, i de ljusa’. His poem ‘Winter was Hard’ was set to music by composer Aulis Sallinen, and he also wrote the libretto for Erik Bergman’s opera ‘Det sjungande trädet’. Carpelan died of cancer on 11 February 2011 and is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki.

Selected Bibliography