Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen
Translated by Katrine Øgaard Jensen
A co-publication between Broken Dimanche Press and Action Books
Cover by Sophia Kalkau
Third-Millennium Heart is a collection of poetry meticulously interweaving biological systems with architectural annexes, mythological compositions and linguistic logics, while mercilessly turning the most intimate chambers of the body inside out and exposing the heart as a very public and thoroughly political arena.
From the midst of an imposant design of tentacular tracks and traces—this cyborg-like anatomy of a “third-millennium heart”—a furiously fabulating mother-creature arises, massaging patriarchal and capitalist structures of logic into their own reverses: a chthulucenic female beast articulating motherhood as both ferocious destruction and relentless affection. Not able to untie the gestating body from its historical, material and discursive surroundings, this fiery female grieves her own permeability, the fragility of her offspring, while also sketching out alternative visions for both revolt and care.
The book was published in its original Danish title Det 3. årtusindes hjerte in 2012 by Gyldendal. It won the Montana Literary Award in 2012 and was rewarded by The Danish Arts Council in 2013. In 2015, the collection received yet another grant from The Danish Arts Council for its translation into English.
From the judging committee of the Montana Literary Award:
“Third-Millennium Heart heavily underlines the fact that Ursula Andkjær Olsen possesses one of the wildest and sharpest intellects in Danish contemporary poetry.”
Ursula Andkjær Olsen (b. 1970) was born and raised in Copenhagen. She has a degree in music and philosophy from the University of Copenhagen and Technische Universität Berlin. Olsen made her literary debut in 2000 and has since published eight collections of poetry, in addition to several dramatic texts and libretti for operas such as Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Sol går op, sol går ned, and composer Peter Bruun’s Miki Alone, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2008. Olsen has received numerous grants and prizes for her work, including the prestigious award Montanaprisen for Det 3. årtusindes hjerte (Third-Millennium Heart).
Katrine Øgaard Jensen is a translator and writer. She is one of the founding editors of EuropeNow, a journal of research and art at Columbia University, and a returning judge for the Best Translated Book Award (Fiction 2015, Poetry 2016, Poetry 2017). She previously served as editor in chief of the Columbia Journal and blog editor at Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her translations have appeared in the Washington Square Review, the Denver Quarterly, Words Without Borders, Asymptote, and elsewhere.