Theresa Salomonsen

- Denmark -

Theresa Salomonsen was born in 1985 in Århus, graduated from the Writers' School and has a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen. She debuted in 2017 with the poetry collection “Kast himlen i havet” (Throw the Sky Into the Sea), which received Klaus Rifbjerg's Debutant Prize awarded by the Danish Academy.


In 2021, the long poem Højsang (Song of Songs) was published, which received the Michael Strunge award 2021, as well as the small special edition of the poem Ritual. She has also, in collaboration with the poet Stinne Storm, translated Edith Södergran's Septemberlyren from Swedish (Forlaget Korridor).

"I had my first psychotic experience in grad school. Feeling like I was on 'The Truman Show.' Everyone had lied to me my whole life, the bubble burst and God just didn't exist. Something broke inside, I yelled and screamed at the teachers and ran away barefoot. I was otherwise the sweet, quiet girl.It was violent and it felt like God abandoned me when it was the worst. I couldn't get in touch with him anymore. Couldn't hear him, couldn't feel him. I even started having sinful thoughts - falling in love and stuff - and then when I needed him most, he was gone."


Theresa Salomonsen's struggles with God, desires, her mind, and the state of world-all captured in this quote from an interview in the Danish magazine Sind-define the essence of her poetry.


She was born in 1985 and grew up in a family devoted to a Pentecostal church. She left the church in her final year of high school as she no longer felt that she could fit into the strict rules of the church. When she was 25 she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.


Salomonsen's "Song of Songs" is, like Solomon's Song of Songs for the old testament, designed as an ecstatic exchange song between a man and a woman, which offers a powerful, sensual, bodily and swelling language, where the countless comparisons and metaphors, such as love and desire, run rampant; flow over and together with each other.


If only she would give me a kiss with her mouth

her mouth is the horizon in the sunrise

a red line separating heaven and earth

her mouth is silk thread

a crack an opening

a pink grotto

her mouth is the inside of an orchid

a cotton cave in the cliff

a closed hand

a white smile

an acorn

a watering hole in the desert

her mouth is soft as water

like cream against a cat's tongue

like all the overripe berries

like autumn


But in Salomonsen's version of the erotic exchange between a man and a woman the woman sees more than the man. She sees the world, particularly Palestine, and all of the horror of war.


Palestinian landscape is dusty red

I look out over the Palestinian land

I see him wandering in the dust

I see the soldiers in their green uniforms

one has sat by the wall in the sun

with a gun in his lap

like a worn down trophy

a heavy child she can no longer carry

and there are whispers in gray courtyards

stones are thrown

like a sandstorm the army enters the streets of Gaza

nine have died today

a million starve

the bombs fall like snowflakes on the apartment blocks


In this way, she resembles the famous Danish poet Inger Christensen, as she deals with the tragedies of the world and an almost apocalyptic sense of loss of innocence.


my white dress is brown with dust


By Thorkil Jacobsen