Harald Sverdrup (writer)

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Harald Sverdrup
Sverdrup in 1967
Sverdrup in 1967
BornHarald Ulrik Sverdrup
(1923-05-29)29 May 1923
Buksnes, Lofoten, Norway
Died26 June 1992(1992-06-26) (aged 69)
Notable awardsNorwegian Critics Prize for Literature
Mads Wiel Nygaards Endowment
Dobloug Prize
Riksmål Society Literature Prize

Harald Ulrik Sverdrup (29 May 1923 – 26 June 1992) was a Norwegian poet and children's writer. He received several literary prizes, including the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature, the Mads Wiel Nygaards Endowment, the Dobloug Prize and the Riksmål Society Literature Prize.

Early and personal life[edit]

Sverdrup was born in Gravdal, Buksnes, Lofoten, as a son of medical doctor Harald Ulrik Sverdrup (1890–1976) and Berit Johanne Strandenæs (1896–1961). He was related to bishop and politician Jakob Sverdrup, who was his great-uncle, and to oceanographer Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Jr, who was his first cousin once removed.[1] Other first cousins once removed are Leif Sverdrup, Georg Johan Sverdrup and philologist Jakob Sverdrup. He was also a great-grandson of Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Sr, a grandnephew of Jakob Sverdrup, Georg Sverdrup and Edvard Sverdrup, and a second cousin of historian Jakob Sverdrup.[2]

He spent his early childhood in Lofoten, Risør, Hvitsten and Rjukan, and later in Oslo. During World War II he participated in resistance work in Norway, until he fled to Sweden and Great Britain in 1944. He joined as ground crew at the Norwegian Spitfire Wing, and participated at the war front in Belgium, Holland and Germany.[1]

He was married to Jorunn Elset from 1950 to 1954, and to his first cousin Mari Ulstrup from 1954. The couple lived at Kalbakken and Stokke.[1]

Literary career[edit]

Sverdrup made his literary debut in 1948 with the poetry collection Drøm og drift.[3] His literary breakthrough came with the collection Sankt Elms ild from 1958, which earned him the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature.[1] He issued the collection of children's poetry Snurrebassen og andre tøysevers in 1958.[3] He received the Mads Wiel Nygaards Endowment in 1959.[4] During the 1960s he issued the poetry collections Isbjørnfantasi (1961), Sang til solen (1964) and Farlig vind (1969), and the prose books Negeren og solsikken (1965) and Paradisets barn (1968). In the 1970s he issued the poetry collections Fredløse ord (1971) and Grønn kalender (1974).[1] He received the Dobloug Prize in 1978,[3] and the Riksmål Society Literature Prize in 1985.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lotherington, Tom. "Harald Sverdrup". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  2. ^ Bratberg, Terje (2007). "Sverdrup". In Henriksen, Petter (ed.). Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Harald Ulrik Sverdrup – forfatter". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Mads Wiel Nygaards Legat" (in Norwegian). Forfatterportalen.no. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Språk- og litteraturpriser" (in Norwegian). Riksmålsforbundet. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2009.