Thomas Tidholm, bom in Örebro in 1943, made his debut as a poet in 1963. He has since then written numerous volumes of poetry, plays for the stage, television and radio, and children’s books with illustrations by his wife, Anna-Clara Tidholm. He and Anna-Clara moved to a farm outside Arbrå in 1967, and now divide their year between Arbrå and Stockholm. 

Tidholm the poet who writes for adults, and Tidholm the writer for children, are hard to separate. His children’s books deal with subjects such as death, fear, creation and god, while his poems for adults often have a childishly simple playfulness. He rediseovers the clichés of language, and like a wide-eyed child tums phrases around, inserting an unexpected word to reveal the chasms between trivialities and make the language visible to us again. ”It is a matter of finding the hidden meaning of language, otherwise there would be no reason to write poetry,” be says.

En broschyr om smärta (A Brochure about Pain, 1997), Tidholm’s most recent volume of poetry, was highly acclaimed by critics in Sweden. The title poem, based on a brochure about pain-killers issued by the Swedish pharmaceutical industry, reorganizes the everyday phrases into a maelstrom of threat, fear and pain.

In Friluftsliv i strandområden (Outdoor Life in Shoreland Terrain, 1991) Tidholm says his aim was to write pseudoscientific essays in the form of poetry. ”There are no objective truths. We all fabricate our own knowledge.”

Gabriella Berggren, 2000