Friends with Everybody
Shortlisted for the Brage Prize 2018 (Norway’s national book award) in the fiction category.
Gunnar Wærness’ first collection of poetry in 5 years consists of texts written between 2012 and 2018. It is a collection of imagerich, wise and gripping poems, which roam freely around, crossing borders and systems, culture and history, in its pursuit of themes like language, spirit, time, people, nation, violence, wandering and fleeing, nature and death. It is a book peopled by heroes and villains: poets, priests, politicians, prophets, witches, shamans, media, messengers, destroyers, survivors and casualties. Figures like Cain and Abel, Lenin, William Blake, the voodoo God Agwé, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse appear side by side with boat refugees and victims of school massacres, and everywhere we hear the voices of the dead. guiding, admonishing and reproaching the living. Friends with Everybody uses role poems, fictions and polyphony to draw an image of a greater transnational collective, and is an attempt to negotiate an new contract between the living and the dead.