Theater of Cruelty

Håkan Sandell

Sandell is now MODERN TIMES' regular poetry critic. He is a Swedish poet and literary critic. He is now a regular poetry critic in MODERN TIMES. Sandell has published around 30 books, and for several decades he has also worked as a culture writer for the Swedish morning newspaper Sydsvenskan. His latest book is the collection of poems The world opens the gates (2023).

"Her hands were a road / of breathing trees"

POETRY: Kosmos' baby by Gunnar Wærness, and Collection by Erling Kittelsen are two books that have a similarity in how they extend away from the personal (author) self and borrow voices from the environment. The latter makes fun of the cultural tourist and New Age consumer who attends evening classes in Sufism one month and shamanic drumming the next.

Confessional poetry or love poetry

POETRY: Vietnamese-American Ocean Vuong's poetry is corporeal and sensual. And Wales' foremost female poet Menna Elfyn writes in the Celtic-Welsh minority language Cymric. We present them both here.

When you approach your limits

POETRY: In a collection of poems by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, there may be a touch of criticism of civilization. Like when the political commitment ebbs and allows the artistic expression to intensify – melancholic and energetic.