Born in Kalundborg, Denmark in 1956, Søren Ultrik Thomsen grew up on the Stevens Peninsular. In 1972 he moved to Copenhagen, experiencing the “culture shock” which informs much of his poetry and is indicated by the title of his first poetry collection, City Slang of 1981. From the publication of that book until the present, Thomsen has worked full-time as a writer, producing some of the most popular volumes of poetry by a younger Danish poet. Among his collection is Ukendt under den same mane (1982, Unknown under the Same Moon), Hjemfalden (1991, Reverted), Det skabtes vaklen (1991, The Shaking of Creation, 1996) and Det væste og det bedste (2002, The Worst and the Best), a collection which takes its point of departure from Bukowski’s 1985 poem “The Worst and the Best.”
The author has also translated Sophocles’ Oedipus into Danish and he has written three books of poetic essays, Mit lys brænder: omrids af en ny poetic (1985, My Candle Burns: Outline of a New Poetics), En dans på gloser (1996, Dancing Attendance on the Word), and Mit lys brænder (1996, My Light Shines).
He has also been the subject of a documentary film by Jørgen Leth, Jeg er levende of 1999.
Thomsen argues that poetry must be “played out in the high tensioned field between theory and song,” but not as the semioticians may approach it, as a cross between the two, but as a linguistic practice that displays the actual relationship between the two.”
He became a member of the Danish Academy in 1995 and received a lifetime grant
from the Danish Art Foundation in 1983. With author/critic Erik Skyrum-Nielsen, he was the co-founder of the literary journal, Den Blå Port, and served as its editor until 1991.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
City Slang (Copenhagen: Vindrose, 1981); Ukendt under den same mane (Copenhagen: Vindrose, 1982); Nye digte (Copenhagen: Vindrose, 1991); Hjemfalden (Copenhagen: Vindrose, 1991); Det skabtes vaklen (Copenhagen: Vindrose, 1996); Det værste og det bedste (Copenhagen: Borgens, 2002).
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:
Selected Poems , trans. by Susanna Nied (New York: Meeting Eyes Bindery/Brooklyn: Poetry New York, 1999).