Published in 2002, ‘Revbensstäderna’ (lit. The Rib Cities) is a poetry collection by Swedish poet Eva Ström, that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize’ in 2003. Born in Lidingö (Stockholm), Eva Ström was trained as a physician, but left the profession in 1988 to become a full-time writer. In early 2010, she was elected member of the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ in the class for humanities and for outstanding services to science. She made her literary debut in 1977 with the collection of poems ‘Den brinnande Zeppelinaren’, and she has published nine collections of poems and four novels so far. ‘Revbensstäderna’ describes the existence of some people living on the edge of society: in towns and cities on the English coast, the reader meets the refugee boy who takes his own life, the alcoholic who vomits blood and the paedophile who tries to explore his tendency. However, the character drawings go beyond the personalities, getting into strictly physiological human body details, with a poetic imagery often expressed in medical-anatomical terms: muscles, blood, ribs. According to the Adjudicating Committee, Eva Ström is a singular voice in the landscape of Swedish poetry: she is at the forefront of a younger generation of poets and her work never stagnates, as she tests the limits of language and challenges the potential of the word. ‘Revbensstäderna’ stands out because of her extraordinary bravery, her intensity and physicality, as well as the clarity with which she depicts the human condition today.
Books, Culture, Literature, Poetry, Sweden