Sjón began his literary career at the tender age of 15 when his first poetry collection, Sýnir [Visions], was published in 1978. He was one of the founding members of the neo-surrealist group Medúsa and early on acquired a high profile on the Reykjavík cultural scene. He has published numerous poetry collections and seven novels, as well as written plays and opera librettos. Alongside his work as an author Sjón has taken part in a wide range of art exhibitions and music events. His longtime collaboration with the Icelandic singer Björk led to an Oscar nomination in 2001 for the lyrics in the Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark.

Sjón’s poems and novels have been widely translated and he has featured at poetry- and literary festivals the world over. Apart from his poetry appearing in anthologies and magazines it has been published in separate editions in French, Figures obscures [Cahiers de Nuit], German, Gesang des Steinesammlers [kleinheinrich], and Macedonian, Anatomija na gladniot [SPV]. In 2005 Sjón was awarded the prestigious Nordic Council’s Literary Prize for his novel Skugga-Baldur (The Blue Fox) which has been published in more than 25 countries including Polish in 2009 by the publishing house Słowo/obraz terytoria. His latest novel Rökkurbýsnir (In the Mouth of the Wale) was nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.