Sigbjørn Skåden (born 1976) grew up in the Sami village Planterhaug in Tromsø, Northern Norway. He has got two master’s degrees in literature, one from the University of York on the Caribbean poet Derek Walcott, and one from the University of Tromsø on the development of Saami poetry in the 20th century. His debut poetry collection Skuovvadeddjiid gonagas (The King of Shoemakers) was written in Northern Sami and for this long epic poem he was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in the Nordic countries. He was also a key speaker at the indigenous forum at the World’s largest poetry festival in Medellín, Colombia, in 2012.
Skådens authorship ranges from non-fiction books about Sami people and culture, via the controversial blog novel Ihpil: Láhppon Mánáid bestejeaddji (Ihpil: The Savior of Lost Children), where he acted as a lesbian Sami girl, to the newly released novel Våke over dem som sover (Watch over those who sleeps). In 2010 he published his second book of poetry, Prekariáhtalávlla (A Song for the Prekariat). He has also written numerous works for stage performances and exhibitions, as well as edited publications and work on translations between Sami and Norwegian. Skåden is the first Sami author who's won the Havmann prize.
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