Bengt Berg – Swedish Poet, writer, publisher & Entertainer
Born (June 15, 1946) and raised in Torsby, Sweden, in the forest and lake province of Värmland, near the Norwegian border and the 60th parallel. After completing public school in Torsby, Berg studied at universities in Sweden (Uppsala, Lund, Göteborg and Karlstad). He has a master’s degree in philosophy with the subjects of literature, art history, Nordic languages, German and social anthropology, as well as a teaching degree.
Bengt Berg made his debut in 1974 with the poetry collection “Where the Dream Ends”, and as of 2006 has authored 31 books as well as compiling several anthologies. Most of his works are poetry; several are joint efforts together with artists and photographers.
Poems by Bengt Berg have been translated into Nordic languages as well as English, German, Dutch, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Latvian and Hindi.
Bengt Berg has also written a book and several plays for children.
Over the years Bengt Berg has worked as a culture journalist and translator. During 1973-85 he collaborated with others in publishing 60 issues of “Rallarros”, a magazine that received an award as best culture magazine from the Swedish Cultural Council.
For his accomplishments as an author Bengt Berg has received a large number of awards and grants from, among others, the Swedish Academy and cultural institutions in Scandinavia.
Since 1990 Bengt Berg has operated the publishing house Heidruns Förlag, which has published 105 works – novels, books of poetry and art, translations of other works and reference books. He also managed Heidruns Book and Art Café in his hometown, which provided art exhibitions, cultural programs, etc. (until 2016).
The poet Bengt Berg is on tour a great deal, often together with various musicians. As an author he has participated in radio and TV programs and has been a guest at the annual Book and Library Fair in Gothenburg, Sweden for a lot of years in a row.
Bengt Berg’s poems “are full of humour and warmth, and characterized by sharp insights into the oddities of people and situations. With time he has become more and more aware of form – without sacrificing other merits – and his poems appear at times to have been written by an Eastern master.”
In his poetry the author offers experiences learned in life blended with curious observations of daily realities. Humour is woven into the poems but Berg has also explored themes that are unusual for this genre: He and the artist Stig Olson published a book of illustrations and poems about sports, and together with photographer Horst Tuuloskorpi, published a book of photos and poetry about an automobile cemetery. In his programs before live audiences Bengt Berg is a humorist with a serious side, a performer who gladly stretches the boundaries between different art forms and traditions in poetry. These public appearances contribute to the fact that his books enjoy unusually high sales on the Swedish market.