The Sun, My Father
Nils-Aslak Valkeapaa was born in 1943 to a reindeer-breeding family in Sapmi, homeland of the Sami, whom outsiders have called "Laps" or "Laplanders". A Finnish citizen, he lives in both Norway and Finland. Much of traditional Sami life was nomadic, involving herding reindeer and living in harmony with the landscapes, weather, and animals of the far north. The poems in The Sun, My Father serve as a link between past and present. According to one myth, the Sami are the children of the sun, and the poet honors that myth, reaching back into the Sami past from the point of view of a modern Sami.
The Sami edition was originally published in 1988 and won the Nordic Council's Literature Award. The translation team includes Ralph Salisbury, a Native American poet, Lars Nordstrom, a Swedish translator, and Harald Gaski, a Sami scholar.