INL Tour of North America
By Viðar Hreinsson, December, 2012

On the occasion of the publication of my book, Wakeful Nights. Stephan G. Stephansson: Icelandic-Canadian Poet, I was invited on a lecturing and reading tour across North America, by the International Visits Program of the INL, the Icelandic National League of North America.
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Stephansson House near Red Deer preserves memory of Canada's 'earliest poet of the first rank'

EDMONTON - On the highway just south of Red Deer's Gasoline Alley, the official blue sign for Stephansson House stands discreetly on right-hand shoulder.
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Edmonton writers dominate awards

EDMONTON - Edmonton writers claimed five of the 9 top book prizes handed out at the Alberta Literary Awards gala in Calgary over the weekend, after Edmonton's Wayne Arthurson walked off with the most lucrative honour, the $10,000 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.
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Reflections on freelance writing in Iceland
From WD Valgardson's blog,

"Making a living as a writer of any kind is precarious. The stories in the newspapers or on TV about some writer who has just received a million dollars for a first time manuscript is there because the occasion is rare. So rare, that it is news. The struggle of most writers is to pay the rent, the grocery bill, or, as Viðar told us, to buy a pizza to celebrate his son's birthday.
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June 17th Celebrations Mountain Community Center hosts Icelandic play and choir
Icelandic Communities Association of North Dakota hosted a very special evening of entertainment on Wednesday, June 15 at the Mountain Community Center.
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Benediktson Fellowship for Icelandic Artists.
Stephen Benediktson, the grandson of Stephen G. Stephansson, has created, jointly with the government of Iceland, the Benediktson Fellowship for Icelandic Artists.
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INL Convention
We rolled through an Alberta countryside where fields were flooded and the sky threatened rain but nothing dampened our Viking spirits. We reached hallowed ground. Stephan G. Stephanson's restored home, the place where he farmed and wrote his poetry. From there to Markerville. And back. And the tour guide with the help of Gail Einarson-McCleery, managed to leave no one behind. You should have been there,it was a good time.
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Huldufólk Markerville
On New Year's Eve 1891, the honoured poet and orator Stephan G. Stephansson said these words "If we feel our community lacks some amenities needed to make it a more pleasant place, we can do something about it. We know nature did not corral all the hardships and leave them near Red Deer… So if we feel something is amiss, let's get our hands out of our pockets and do something about it." That spirit is alive and well in Markerville today!"
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History leads to church restoration
From 1966 – 2007, the church, commonly known by then as Markerville Community Church, was looked after by a small committee in conjunction with the Tindastoll Cemetery. Then, in 2007, with the permission and blessing of the Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society, work began to obtain proper up-to-date and legal title so that transfer could be made to the Icelandic Society. After much researching of documents and trips to the lawyer, the original Alberta Icelandic Lutheran Congregation of Markerville, Tindastoll, Solheima, Burnt Lake and Red Deer became registered as the Markerville Lutheran Church with legal title transferred to Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society in February 2008. This event opened up more realistic possibilities for restoration and the ongoing care and keeping of the church. It meant we could apply for financial assistance and for Provincial Historic Resource Designation. So, with a committee, volunteers and local financing in place, we made provincial as well as county applications.
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The travels of Ofeigur Sigurdsson and Astridur Tomasdottir
The first Icelanders to settle the Markerville area had come in a large group the year before, in 1888. They were offered assistance by Mr. L.M. Sage who helped them build rafts to cross the river. Perhaps Ofeigur and Astridur received his kind help, too. Other travellers who came in 1889 were Sam and Kristin Grimson, as well as Stephan G. Stephansson and his wife Helga. All were faithful friends.
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Welcome to Lögberg-Heimskringla Stephan G. Stephansson: A literary voyage via translation
The well known poem "Árferði ì Alberta" (1891) was read in Icelandic by Guðrún Jörundsdóttir. Her reading illustrated clearly the complexity of the sound of the poem. The question is how to translate these effects into another language. This challenge is illustrated by the translations of Kristjana Gunnars ("Seasons in Alberta") which was read in English by Ed McCullough and Bernard Scudder ("The Climate in Alberta") read by Carol Blyth. Gunnar's translation follows the original Icelandic text but not the rhyme scheme, whereas Scudder opted for the original rhyme scheme .
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Serendipity in the shadow of the Arctic Circle
Our trip to Greenland/Iceland was serendipitous from beginning to end. All four of my grandparents were born in Iceland as was my husband Bob's paternal grandmother. As we were making plans for our trip to Iceland, scheduled for the summer of 2006, we received information about a cruise leaving from Reykjavík to explore parts of the eastern shore of Greenland and Scoresby Sound, dates coinciding with the land tour we had booked in Iceland.
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150 years since the birth of K.N. (Kristján Níels Júlíus)
When we visit the Heritage Center at Icelandic State Park in Mountain North Dakota, the Stephan G. Stephansson monument at Garðar, ND and K.N.'s (Kristján Níels Júlíus) grave at the ruins of the Þingvallakirkja outside of Mountain, ND, we are reminded of the past. How Stephan G., one of Iceland's most beloved poets, who lived at Garðar with his family in the 1880s, before moving to Markerville in Alberta, was able to overcome unbelievable difficulties.
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Mountain, ND pioneer tour
Stephan G. Stephansson was born in 1853 at "Kirkjuhóll", a small farm in Skagafjörður in northern Iceland. In 1873, his family immigrated to America, along with a large number of other Icelanders. They first settled in Wisconsin where they spent sevenyears. In 1880, the entire Icelandic colony moved to Dakota Territory. The home farmstead contained almost 160 acres of land. The rock that is used as the monument to mark the site was taken from the east end of the pasture on his property. The farm buildings were located just a few feet beyond the monument. Stephan's father, Gudmundur, and Stephan's son, Jon, are buried in the Gardar Cemetery.
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