Glumsøvej (Copenhagen) Author Wins Literature Award
Copenhagen author Bent Lorentzen recently was awarded 3rd place in the 2002 Ground Zero International Literature Competition. The award winning story, “Passage,” intimately describes a Native American Shaman in the process of asking Nature’s Spirits to “help across” friends who’d recently died in a tragedy. It’s not until the final couple of sentences that the reader discovers that the Shaman’s ritual takes place right after the World Trade Center massacre. The story is written until that point as if it were describing an ancient ritual deep in a forest. The forest, of course, happens to be in Central Park.
Bent Lorentzen returned to Denmark in 1997 after many years in America. When very young, his parents emigrated from Roskilde (a large city west of Copenhagen) to Montreal, and for the next five years he switched from Danish to French in school. Montreal is predominantly a French-speaking city. His father worked as a schoolteacher in Montreal. Later, the family moved to the United States when a Boston area university offered him a professorship. Suddenly, Bent Lorentzen was forced to learn yet a third language: English. And it was his love of this language that became his source of creativity. Over the past decades, Bent has published hundreds of fairy tales and photojournalistic articles in the States and worldwide.
He studied for a BS in biology with minors in school-teaching and mathematics, and later studied toward a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. During his years at college, he was elected Vice-president to the university’s environmental science club. He was therefore responsible for the Massachusetts State Wilderness Laboratory in Ashby, where he introduced a new method to catalog the wilderness’ biomass (from its large animals to organic compounds) on one of the first (extremely primitive) office IBM computer.
For three years he worked as a teacher at Spear Educational Center in Massachusetts, where he was responsible for 20 – 30 autistic students. Here he used sign language and “positive reinforcement” techniques. Later, he moved to New York City. Because he lived in a spiritual community, he learned to love the inner spirit of an overwhelming, sometimes impersonal, and often violent city.
In the past several years, he’s been somewhat successful as an author, having completed two books (and four others in the works). One book, Dragon’s Moon, (go back to main DANE PAGE for info on book) has just been published in America and Romania. A review of the book describes it as a “more profound and deep interpretation of H.C. Andersen’s ‘Ugly Duckling’ archetype.” With help from Copenhagen poet, Martin Thor Nielsen, Bent is working on a Danish version of the book. (His grammatical Danish is not as good as his English).
His family has deep roots in Copenhagen. A grandfather worked as a Copenhagen high school principal during WWII, and his mother’s family is also from the Copenhagen community….