When Steinunn Sigurdardóttir finished her degree in psychology and philosophy at University College Dublin in 1972, she had already published two volumes of poetry. She had also embarked on her career as a radio reporter and journalist. Her work in that field includes TV interviews with Nobel-prize winner Halldór Kiljan Laxness, singer Björk, and an exceptional interview with Dame Iris Murdoch, broadcast by The BBC, Dutch Television, and TV in the Scandinavian countries. Her other writer’s interviews include Jennny Erpenbeck, Gudbergur Bergsson, Svava Jakobsdottir, Göran Tunström, Nuala O’Faolain, Michel Faber.
Steinunn has, in her writing for Icelandic newspapers, and in her radio broadcasts, not only focused on cultural subjects, including literature and cinema, she has also written extensively about political and environmental issues, opposing the industrialization of Iceland (aluminum smelters) and the ensuing destruction of nature.
In 1982 Steinunn Sigurðardóttir quit her steady job as radio reporter to focus on her writing. She has, along with her writing and free-lance journalism, worked actively in the field of culture. Long standing vice-chairman of the Icelandic Writers Association. She was member of the jury for the prestigious Dublin Impac Literary Prize, and member of The Gothenburg Film Festival Jury.
Steinunn Sigurðardóttir participates in literary festivals and conferences, and reads from her works regularly in various European countries. She also writes about literature, now preparing a paper on Toni Morrison´s novels, Beloved and The Bluest Eye. Amongst her latest contributions in this field is an article about autofiction for Liberation. Shas written about Henrik Ibsen for Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and she gave a paper on Thomas Mann, with a connection to Halldor Laxness, for the Thomas Mann society in Zurich.
Steinunn Sigurðardóttir is one of forty European writers, including Ismail Kadare and Orhan Pamuk, who wrote a piece engraved in the Europabrucke (Bridge of Europe) between Strasbourg and Kehl.
Steinunn Sigurðardóttir participated in The Word Renaissance Cruise in the Black Sea, uniting writers, translators and journalists from countries around The Black Sea, and The Baltic Sea and she was on the cultural committee for the translator centre in Rhodos.. She participated in The International Writing Programme in Iowa, she was Poet- in-Residence in The Scottish Poetry Library Edinburgh. She has also been invited to work in Schloss Wiepersdorf in Germany, The Writers and Translators Center in Visby, Gotland, and in Europaisches Uebersetzerkollegium, Straelen, Germany. She speaks fluently English, German, French, Swedish and Danish and she understands Norwegian.
Steinunn Sigurðardóttir has spent time in the United States and Japan, and various European countries. She has lived in Sweden, Ireland, England and France, and most recently, in Berlin. She is now staying in Strasbourg, where she was invited to be writer in residence at the University . Her life companion is Thorsteinn Hauksson, composer. She has one daughter.
Copyright © Th. Hauksson