Olga Ravn

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Olga Ravn
Ravn in 2012
Ravn in 2012
BornOlga Ravn
(1986-09-27) 27 September 1986 (age 32)
Copenhagen, Denmark
EducationForfatterskolen [da]
Years active2008 – present

Olga Sofia Ravn (born 27 September 1986)[1] is a Danish poet and novelist. Initially she published poetry which was acclaimed by the critics, as was her first novel Celestine (2015). She is also a translator and has worked as a literary critic for Politiken and several other Danish publications.

Early life and education[edit]

Olga Ravn was born and raised in Copenhagen, the daughter of singer Anne Dorte Michelsen asn visual artist and designer Peter Ravn. In 2010 she graduated from the Danish School of Authors, Forfatterskolen [da], in that city.[2][3]


Praised for her playfulness, she turns words and meanings inside out. She plays around with repetitions, colours, grotesqueries and tiers this with everyday words and phrases, creating a rhythmic and pulsating reading experience which is almost physical and visceral.

Stockholm International Poetry Festival 2015 review[4]

Ravn published her first poem in the Copenhagen literary magazine Hvedekorn in 2008. Since then, her poetry has appeared in Konvolut 28/6, Trappe Tusind, Verbale Pupiller, Antologi 2010 and Forfatterskolens Afgangsantologi 2010.[3] Her early poetry, described as "rhythmic, playful, sensual and image-rich", earned positive critical reception.[3]

In 2012 Ravn published her first collection of poetry, Jeg æder mig selv som lyng ("I Eat Myself Like Heather"). The collection explores how young women's bodies react to friendship, sex, and love.[5][6] In 2013 the collection was translated into Swedish.[4]

In 2014 Ravn published a chapbook of poetry titled Mean Girl, consisting of coloured sheets of paper and glimmering scraps. Only 250 copies were released, each prepared with individual attention so that none were identical.[5][7] Mean Girl (et utdrag), a selection of Mean Girl translated to Norwegian, was published by Flamme Forlag [no] in 2015.[8][9][10]

Ravn was editor on the 2015 book Jeg ville være enke, og jeg ville være digter: Glemte tekster af Tove Ditlevsen ("I Wanted to Be a Widow, and I Wanted to Be a Poet: Forgotten texts by Tove Ditlevsen").[11][12][13][14]

In 2015 she published her first novel, Celestine, about a boarding school teacher's obsession with a ghost who has much in common with her. The main difference between the two, the teacher points out, is that she is not yet dead.[15]

Ravn regularly posts short writings, videos and pictures on her blog and Tumblr account.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Ravn was positively reviewed in the autumn edition of the Danish Literary Magazine in 2011, which described her upcoming poetry collection, Jeg æder myself som lyng, as "a passionate, lyrical collection that deals with freeing oneself from the role of young girl". The book was also said to have received positive reviews from Danish critics who described it as "bursting with talent" and "ambitious and well-wrought".[16]

On Celestine, Søren Kassebeer of Berlingske compliments the author on her use of language: "She can achieve so incredibly much with words... There seem to be no limits to her ability to create images." Nevertheless, although he finds Celestine readable, he does not regard it a complete success, commenting that it constantly dwells on feelings expressed either by the narrator or the ghost, rather than simply saying what needs to be said.[15] Lilian Munk Rösing of Politiken is particularly impressed with Ravn's use of images and metaphore, becoming totally obsessed with the author's command of powerful, at times humorous language.[17] Victor Malm writing in Sydsvenskan says: "The novel [resembles] Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector. Through an intensive rinsing stream of scenes, images and memories an empty feeling of life ahead is evoked."[18]

Other activities[edit]

Ravn is a writing instructor at Testrup Højskole, a literary critic for Politiken, and an editor at Gyldendal.[2][4]



  • — (2015). Celestine (in Danish). Gyldendal. ISBN 978-87-02-16699-6. (Novel)
  • — (2015). Mean girl (et utvalg) (in Norwegian Bokmål). Flamme Forlag. ISBN 978-82-8288-119-7. (Poems)
  • — (19 March 2015). Olga Ravn, ed. Jeg ville være enke, og jeg ville være digter: Glemte tekster af Tove Ditlevsen [I Wanted to Be a Widow, and I Wanted to Be a Poet: Forgotten texts by Tove Ditlevsen] (in Danish). Gyldendal. ISBN 978-87-02-17283-6.
  • — (2014). Mean Girl (in Danish). Private. (Poems)
  • — (2012). Jeg æder mig selv som lyng: pigesind [I Eat Myself Like Heather] (in Danish). Gyldendal. ISBN 978-87-02-11836-0. (Poems)

Selected articles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olga Ravn (f. 1986)" (in Danish). Danske Litteraturpriser. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Man føler sig fedtet til af livet". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Copenhagen International Poetry Festival 2011" (PDF). literaturhaus.dk. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Welcome, Olga Ravn!". Stockholm International Poetry Festival 2015. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Olga Ravn" (in Danish). Litteratursiden.dk. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Olga Ravn" (in Danish). Forfatterweb. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  7. ^ "'Ting jeg hader er / at jeg hader mænd'". Information (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Olga Ravn". olga-ravn.blogspot.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  9. ^ Kristin Buvik Sivertsen. "Upolert fra dansk talent". dagsavisen.no. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Boksingel – genuin storhet i lite format". Kulturutvalget (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Opdullet Ditlevsen". Information (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Ny Tove Ditlevsen-bog er en skøn og rørende geniscenesættelse". politiken.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Jeg tror, jeg er en lille smule sindssyg". Berlingske Tidende (in Danish). 23 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Olga Ravn". olga-ravn.blogspot.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  15. ^ a b Kassebeer, Søren (13 February 2015). "Olga Ravn romandebuterer talentfuldt, men lidt uforløst" (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Danish Literary Review" (PDF) (in Danish). Danish Arts Council. Autumn 2013. p. 28. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  17. ^ Munk Rösing, Lilian (12 February 2015). "Olga Ravn slipper raseriet løs med et besættende sprogligt overskud" (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  18. ^ http://www.sydsvenskan.se/kultur--nojen/bocker/bokrecensioner/utan-hopp-om-att-nagot-ska-bli-battre/

External links[edit]