At 19:30 tonight Harpa’s Kaldalón opens up to host the second annual Airwords, a one night Airwaves affair for the literarily-inclined, the curious, and those looking for a little repose. In 2013 Andri Snær Magnason introduced Airwords to the Airwaves agenda. Unlike last year, Andri will remain behind the scenes as organiser and curator, among other things. His phone rings in the middle of the shoot and he quickly takes the call. “I have to pick up some Prince cigarettes for our juvenile delinquent poet,” he smiles.
Andri is a well-qualified curator, with works published in over 30 countries. His most recent book, Tíkimakistan, won the Icelandic Literary Award, adding to the laundry list of Literary Awards and international recognitions he has received over the years. Like the Airwords event, Andri works in many mediums. He co-directed the feature length documentary, Dreamland, an adaptation of his own 2006 novel by the same name, and collaborates often with other Icelandic artists and musicians through activism, architecture, and theatre.
Last year’s event played out smoothly, “very laid back and fun,” Andri recalls, “a nice haven from the madness.” Harpa was a perfect venue for the multi-disciplinary exhibition. “It is a good place to blend; Airwords is not just poets and novelists, we have authors like Sjón who collaborate with musicians such as Björk, sound-artists like Smurjón, and bands that play in between.”
This year the event features Icelandic poets Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir, Ásta Sigurðardóttir, Sjón, and the Danish-Palestinian Yahya Hassan. Poetry and readings will be interspersed with music by Smurjón, Good Moon Deer, Tiny Ruins (NZ), Epic Rain, and Pétur Ben. Andri’s advice for anyone planning to attend tonight: “show up early. The house will be full by 22:00, but those earlier slots are always more difficult to fill. We have some very talented and animated readers early on that would be a shame to miss.”
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