Håkan Sandell Biography

Håkan Sandell, born 16 February 1962 in Västra Skrävlinge, is a Swedish poet.

Håkan Sandell emerged in the 1980s as a member of Malmöligan, a group of poets based in Malmö, consisting of Sandell, Clemens Altgård, Per Linde, Kristian Lundberg, Lukas Moodysson and Martti Soutkari. Although diverse in style and subjects, the members were inspired by punk rock, the Danish poet Michael Strunge and differed from the politicised poetry that had dominated Sweden in the 1970s. The group disbanded in 1993 after which Sandell moved to Denmark, Ireland and eventually Norway.
In the 1990s, Sandell and Altgård wrote the pamphlet Om retrogardism ("on retrogardism"), in which they advocated a literature rooted in traditional expressions. Sandell has mentioned the painter Odd Nerdrum as an important influence for this direction away from modernism. The first Nerdrum painting he saw was Return of the Sun, through which he realised which qualities modernism was missing: "the pathetic, the heroic, the sentimental, the nostalgic, the decadent, the Luciferian, the declamatory, the dramatic, the Dantean! (Dantesque?), the Gothic, late Manierism, Romanticism, historicism, symbolism, etc."
A volume of Sandell's poetry titled Dog Star Notations: Selected Poems 1999 - 2016 appeared in English in 2016, translated by Bill Coyle and published by Carcanet Press.