Name Malene Engelund
Location Greenwich, London
What are you working on right now?
I have just published my poetry pamphlet The Wild Gods and there is a sense of ‘shedding skin’ right now; of being in a raw, exposed place before new poems – a new sort of skin – start to grow.
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
Someone who opens those brown envelopes.
Do you have any odd creative rituals?
Not sure if they are odd, but if I find I’m stuck, having a shower often helps, or a walk to the deer enclosure in Greenwich Park.
Describe your most inspiring working environment…
Morning, around 6am, at my writing desk overlooking the garden – with a cup of cardamom-spiced coffee. Or any time, any season at the wonderful Cove Park artist residency in Scotland.
What are you obsessed with?
Tour de France. And nuns, though best not to elaborate…
What’s on your bedside table?
At the moment, the poetry collections of the extraordinary Alice Oswald: I’m rereading her work and finding that it’s helping that regrowth of skin.
What’s your idea of luxury?
I grew up close to the ocean and lakes in Northern Jutland in Denmark and can’t think of anything more liberating and beautiful than swimming in these wild bodies.
The Wild Gods reveal a distinctly Nordic imagination, punctured with rich colour, shadows and light.
Here are letters, portraits and prayers, composed with an almost painterly precision. Searching and clear-eyed, each poem a compact saga that revives folklore and extends it into the present, Engelund’s wild gods take their places between borders: of home and belonging, darkness and dawn, the silenced and the lost.
Available now from Valley Press, £6.99 paperback and £1.99 kindle edition.