Third-Millennium Heart
Ursula Andkjær Olsen

Translated by Katrine Øgaard Jensen

A co-publication with Berlin’s Broken Dimanche Press
Poetry. Scandinavian Literature Series. 210 pp.
ISBN 978-3-943196-45-0

With black humor and cutting logic, Third-Millennium Heart explores the confounding nature of power and desire, the problem of asserting a feminist alternative without recapitulating patriarchal power structures: “The goal is to weaken every trace of odor. It will cost me my victory scent.” Yet Olsen’s ambivalence entails an embryonic potential: uncoupled from all normative arrivals, her syntax sprouts with mutant possibility, one nimbly conveyed by translator Jensen’s flexible touch. From the darkness of this “comajubilation,” in a stutter-step of declarations and retractions, Third-Millennium Heart is a work of radical re-conjuration: “Together we will beat/in the great DELTA.”

Praise for Ursula Andkjær Olsen

“Few poets, if any, have renewed Danish poetry in the 21st century the way Ursula Andkjær Olsen has done it.”

— 2017 Danish Arts Foundation’s Award of Distinction Judges’ Citation

Third-Millennium Heart heavily underlines the fact that Ursula Andkjær Olsen possesses one of the wildest and sharpest intellects in Danish contemporary poetry.”

— 2013 Montanaprisen Judges’ Citation

“In Third-Millennium Heart, an utterly monstrous character of the body is presented to us: a heart, whose arteries and chambers lead us into complex architectural constructions and mythical castle facilities. From this hybrid body-space a terrifying female figure arises, spewing long lists of contradictory judgments and prophesies out over the Western world’s perverted civilization and market mechanisms. The work is composed of several short, out-of-breath-like texts that aggressively branch out, pointing in wild and completely different directions. As a matter of fact, the ambiguity of this third-millennium heart character is so prevalent that any reading of its intentions could be disproved with an equally well-documented interpretation of the exact opposite statement.”

— Ida Bencke, Critic and Editor, Broken Dimanche Press


Ursula Andkjær Olsen (b. 1970) was born and raised in Copenhagen. Olsen made her literary debut in 2000 and has since published eight collections of poetry, in addition to several dramatic texts and libretti for operas such as Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Sol går op, sol går ned, and composer Peter Bruun’s Miki Alone, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2008. Olsen has received numerous grants and prizes for her work, including the prestigious award Montanaprisen for Det 3. årtusindes hjerte (Third-Millennium Heart) and the Danish Arts Foundation’s Award of Distinction in 2017.


Katrine Øgaard Jensen is a translator and writer. She is one of the founding editors of EuropeNow, a journal of research and art at Columbia University, and a returning judge for the Best Translated Book Award (Fiction 2015, Poetry 2016, Poetry 2017). She previously served as editor in chief of Columbia Journal and blog editor at Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her translations have appeared in the Washington Square Review, the Denver Quarterly, Words Without Borders, Asymptote, and elsewhere.