Pia Tafdrup was born in 1952 in Copenhagen. She has published over 20 books in Danish since her first collection appeared in 1981, and her work has been translated into many languages. Her fourth collection, Spring Tide, was published in English by Forest in 1989. In 1991 she published a celebrated statement of her poetics, Walking Over Water. She received the 1999 Nordic Council Literature Prize – Scandinavia’s most prestigious literary award – for Queen's Gate, which was published in David McDuff’s English translation by Bloodaxe in 2001. Also in 2001, she was appointed a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, and in 2006 she received the Nordic Prize from the Swedish Academy.
Most of Pia Tafdrup's poetry collections have been linked by themes, including The Salamander Quartet (2002–2012). Written over ten years, its ﬁrst two parts were The Whales in Paris and Tarkovsky’s Horses, translated by David McDuff and published by Bloodaxe in 2010 as Tarkovsky’s Horses and other poems. This was followed in 2015 by Salamander Sun and other poems, McDuff’s translation of The Migrant Bird’s Compass and Salamander Sun, the third and fourth parts of the quartet. The first two collections in Pia Tafdrup’s new series of books focussing on the human senses are The Taste of Steel and The Smell of Snow, which Bloodaxe will publish as one volume in David McDuff's translation in 2020.
Author photo: Jon Norddahl
Books by Pia Tafdrup