Bragi Ólafsson (b. 1962) is a poetry and prose writer, as well as a playwright and translator. Active on the Icelandic music scene, he played with a number of the 1980s bands such as the punk-rock Purrkur Pillnikk. Between 1986 and 1992, he was a member of a pop group called The Sugarcubes (Sykurmolarnir in Icelandic).
Ólafsson’s first book was a poetry volume entitled Dagsúgur [Draught], published by Smekkleysa in 1986. Subsequent years saw the publication of Ansjósur [Anchovies, 1991], Ytri höfnin [Outer Harbour, 1993], Klink [Small Change, 1995] and Ljóðaúrval 1986–1996 [Selected Poems, 1986–1996, publ. 1999]. In 2004, Smekkleysa brought out his Innkaupalisti fyrir Kaupmannahöfn [A Shopping List for Copenhagen] and, two years later, Fjórar línur og titill [Four Lines and a Title]. Ólafsson’s most recent poetry collection is Rómantískt Andrúmsloft [A Romantic Atmosphere, 2012].
Bragi Ólafsson is also an author of several novels, short stories and plays. A collection of stories entitled Nöfnin á útidyrahurðinni [The Names on the Front Door] came out in 1996, followed by novels such as Hvíldardagar [Time Off, 1999], Gæludýrin (The Pets, 2001), Samkvæmisleikir [Party Games, 2004] and Sendiherrann (The Ambassador, 2006) – a finalist for the Nordic Literature Prize. The first two novels and The Ambassador were nominated for the Icelandic Literary Award. The writer’s most recent novel is Fjarveran [The Absence, 2012].
Ólafsson is also a playwright. His 2004 play Belgíska Kongó [The Belgian Congo] was staged at Reyjavík City Theatre for four consecutive years. A later play entitled Hænuungarnir [The Chickens, 2010] enjoyed a similar degree of popularity.
Bragi Ólafsson is also a translator of Spanish, English and French prose and poetry. In September 2010, he came to Warsaw as a guest of honour during the Polish edition of the Poems on the Underground.