Letter from Friesland



Gerður Kristný is an Icelandic poet; she has also written short stories, a biography, novels and books for children. She received The Icelandic Literature Award for her long poem “Bloodhoof. She lives in Reykjavík but has been at literary festivals all over the world the last decade reading from her works in Kolkata, Turku, Cox’s Bazar, Copenhagen and Java to name a few.


“I saw an exhibition here in Iceland with some interesting old maps. Year after year the map makers had drawn an imaginary island onto the maps that they named Friesland. It fascinated me. What if we were just living on an island that only exists in our minds? It would explain a few things.”



Letter from Friesland


An old map shows 

Friesland floating

around the Atlantic


Sometimes it is

east of Iceland

sometimes a little

south of itself


Although Friesland

has never existed

there are farms, fjords, and bays

marked on the island


Often I feel like

I live in one

of those towns

and look out across      

the deep fjord