Beginnings

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Where to begin?

I can only speak for myself at this point – Sarah’s journey is different – but to begin at the beginning, while studying at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, I leafed through a copy of National Geographic in the library and discovered the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol featured in an advert for Rolex watches. As a teen I had devoured Jack London stories, and read as much as I could about dogs, sledges and the Arctic. I knew I had to go there, to live in the Arctic, and to have my own dogs.

Nine years later, I did.

Rolex1So began my life in Greenland and my interest in Danish polar expeditions, with a particular interest in Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen’s Danish Literary Expedition (1902-04), information about which we will explore here on the website.

Erichsen was inspired by Greenland, recording his travels and experiences in poetry, journals and prose. He died as Commander of a second expedition to Greenland – the Denmark Expedition (1906-08), but his legacy lives on as one of Denmark’s most famous polar explorers, together with more familiar names such as Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen.

But it is Erichsen’s collection of poems entitled Isblink that Sarah and I are primarily interested in. With Sarah’s help, I translated Isblink and used it to shape a trilogy of thrillers set in Greenland featuring the first female member of the Sirius Sledge Patrol. It seemed logical to choose more poems from the collection, and to translate them into English, and use them as inspiration to write new poetry inspired by the original Danish Literary Expedition.

The New Greenland Literary Expedition will document our journey as we follow in Erichsen’s sledge spoor, literarily and literally, for as long and as far as we can.

We hope you will join us.

Christoffer

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