Endre Ruset

Born in 1981 in Molde, Norway. Lives in Oslo. Poet, radio host and literary critic. 

Books of poetry: Ribbeinas vingespenn, Gyldendal publishing (2001), Kims lek, Gyldendal publishing (2005), Prosjektil, k.ø.s publishing (2012), Elsket og savnet, Kolon publishing (2014), Det, translation of Inger Christensen Pax publisher. (2017), Noriaki, Flamme publishing (2017)

Awarded the Bjørnson Scholarship (2005), The Bookkeeper Scholarship (2015)

Nominated for the Bastian Award (for best translation of fiction) 2017

An interview with Endre Ruset for EuropeanPoetryFestival 2018 with Synne Johnsson

At a poetry festival in Berlin, poet Endre Ruset met a Japanese haiku poet and was inspired to try the Japanese poetry form himself. Inspired by ski jumping and Noriaki Kasai he has now given out two poetry collections about the Japanese ski jumper.

“I picked Noriaki because I have always been interested in ski jump and I thought it would be fun to use a Japaneese jumper,” Ruset said. “I have followed skijump since I was young and I grew up next to a jumping ramp and I used to jump when I was a kid.”

Ruset has written more than 1500 poems about Noriaki, but only a small selection of them has made it to the poetry collections.

“I think and write in pictures or imagines, I have never managed to write stories, I like to think in images which is why I have chosen to write poetry and the haikus in Noriaki are like written images,” he said.

Ruset has given out several poetry collections before and he said he is used to write about darker topics and that these collections are different from before when they are lighter and livelier.

“I wrote my first poetry collection when I was 19 and I had just lost a close family member to cancer, so I wrote about loss and how it is to lose someone you love,” Ruset said. “I think I maybe wrote it because I felt the need to express myself and put my feelings into words.”

“I think that the language can take you in different directions every time, that you never really know what you are going to write about beforehand,” Ruset said. “This started as a small project, to try and write about another part of my life that is not just darkness and chaos.”

Ruset started writing the haikus in between more serious work and whenever he had a little spare time.

“The whole project started as something I did as a relaxation while working on other things whenever I had, say 15 minutes to spare. It is all linked to lightness, work that I have done over years and years,” he said.

Even though all the poems are about Noriaki and ski jumping, Ruset said that it is all just fantasy. He knows Noriaki’s translator and the ski jumper has read some of the poems about him.

“He probably thinks I’m completely crazy. I have met him and he is very nice, very polite. I have know idea what he thinks about it all, but he smiles at me when we meet,” Ruset said.

Ruset grew up with a father who also was a poet, Arne Ruset, and even though he said they did not really talk about writing when he grew up, he believes it has influenced him to choose the path he has.

“We never really talked much about literature, but I have seen him write and give out books. He for example wrote children’s books and then he asked me for help, but he has not been a mentor or anything,” Ruset said. “He was a part of funding Bjørnson festivalen, a literature festival in Molde, which was important for me when I was young because I was then surrounded by different writers I looked up to from a young age,” Ruset said.

For Ruset writing has never been a job, but more a meditation and something he needs.

“For me writing is a playground and a need I have. I just simply need an hour a day to just write,” he said.

Ruset will be attending the European poetry festival in London in April.

Synne Johnsson is a 22-year-old writer and journalist. She is in her third year of her Journalism and Creative writing bachelor degree. Previous sports editor for Kingston University's newspaper The River and has had her work published in The Stinging Fly.

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