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Viðar Hreinsson wins special award for Icelandic book on Jón Guðmundsson the Learned

Photo Source: Bokmenntaborgin.is

Author: Mackenzie Kristjon, Hamilton, ON

As we all know, Icelandic history is filled with tales of adventure, poets, and sorcery. Sometimes these three aspects come together in one man. Jón lærði og náttúrur náttúrunnar (Jon the Learned and the Nature of Nature) is Viðar Hreinsson’s recent book on Jón Guðmundsson the Learned who was just such a man. The book was published by Lesstofan (www.lesstofan.is) in association with the Icelandic Museum of Natural History.
I first met Viðar in Minneapolis at the 2002 Icelandic National League of North America convention and somehow we have stayed in touch through the years. Most Icelandic Canadians will remember him as both the general editor of the English translation of The Complete Sagas of Icelanders and also as the author of Wakeful Nights – Stephan G. Stephansson: Icelandic Canadian Poet, for which he did a book tour through Canada.  . . .

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First Impressions

Photo: Buck82 / Creative Commons

Author: Norma Guttormsson, Maple Ridge, BC

Springtime ushers in warmer temperatures and, within the Arctic Circle, minus ten degrees Celsius is an early sign that winter is disappearing. Mounds of long-standing snow still hug the ground, stubbornly yielding to the sun’s warm penetrating rays. Each day brings an added four minutes of daylight and, by the middle of April, sixteen hours of sunlight gradually make an impression.
The apartment, propped up on the permafrost, overlooks the RCMP office, and each morning, I lift the room-darkening shade to check the Canadian flag on its roof. On this day, the flag “weather-vane,” lying limply, tells me a stroll will be a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  . . .

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Setting the net

Photo: Unplash / public domain

Author: Ian Johnson, The Pas, MB

In the great New Iceland tradition of my father, Palmi Johnson from Riverton, the square hook was his gold standard. Every summer we snuck out at sunset and set a net for lake trout on Lake Athapap, totally illegal of course, but that was part of the joy for my Dad, like extra butter on his hard fish treat.
Our Lund boat and Mercury outboard were loaded up just as the last rays of sunlight disappeared and we could avoid the dreaded conservation officers scouting for poachers who were about. But we were Icelanders – Vikings of the inland sea, bred to the waters, inherent rights – or so my early teen years imagined. It was really just an outing and an unforgettable time, in retrospect – the best part of summer.
Looking back, this must have been suspicious. Who heads out boating in the near dark, then comes home hours later?  . . .

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