The Campaign for Bloodhoof: Meet Ger∂ur Kristný


MATA, an independent presenter of new music based in New York City, was founded to commission, support, and present the music of early career composers.

On May 11, at University Settlement’s Speyer Hall, MATA will present Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir’s evening-length multimedia oratorio BLÓÐHÓFNIR, a setting of Icelandic poet Ger∂ur Kristny’s award-winning poem of the same name, for an all-female ensemble of period instruments and voices.

To lend context to our production of Bló∂hófnir, MATA has teamed up with PEN America to bring poet Ger∂ur Kristny to New York, where she will take part in a pre-concert discussion, among other events.

What is Bló∂hófnir?

Bló∂hófnir (Bloodhoof) revisits the ancient Eddic lay, the Skírnismal, recasting it from the perspective of the abducted giantess Ger∂ur, to demonstrate that what once may have been understood as a tale of romance, is better understood in the context of abduction and sexual violence.


Meet the Poet









Born in 1970 and raised in Reykjavík, Ger∂ur Kristný is one of the leading voices of the vibrant Icelandic literary scene. Kristný has published poetry, short stories, novels, and books for children, as well as a book about the Westman Islands Festival in 2002 and the biography Myndin af pabba—saga Thelmu (A Portrait of Dad—Thelma’s Story) for which she received The Icelandic Journalism Award in 2005. Other awards include the Children’s Choice Book Prize in 2003 for her book Marta Smarta (Smart Marta), the Halldór Laxness Literary Award in 2004 for her novel Bátur með segli og allt (A Boat With a Sail and All), and the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2010 for the novel Garðurinn (The Garden). Ger∂ur’s collection of poetry, Höggstaður (Soft Spot), was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2007; she won the prize in 2010 for Blóðhófnir, which was also nominated for the prestigious Nordic Literature Award.

Her latest book published in English is Drápa: A Reykjavík Murder Mystery.


Gerður Kristný reads an excerpt from Drápa (The Slaying)

Drápa is dedicated to a Reykjavík woman who was murdered by her husband in the 1980’s, and by extension to all women who are victims of domestic violence.


Are there other events featuring Ger∂ur Kristny?
In addition to a pre-concert discussion with composer Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir, Ger∂ur Kristny will be speaking at two events as part of the PEN America World Voices Festival.

How can I help?

MATA is raising $7500 to help defray the costs of mounting this vital production.


$25 contributions will receive a digital download of the recording once it is available

$250 contributions will receive a limited-edition MATA / Bloodhoof tote bag

$750 contributions will receive a signed copy of Blódhófnir, in addition to the other benefits

$1500 contributions will receive access to a rehearsal of Bloodhoof, and two reserved tickets to the performance, in addition to the other benefits