Tomas Tranströmer reads widely from his work; he also reads two poems by fellow Swedish poet Harry Martinson. Of note, Martinson received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974, the year before this reading. Thirty-six years later, in 2011, Tranströmer himself was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The reading includes the performance of two poems in Swedish, and ends with a rich and extensive question and answer session.
In his first appearance at the Poetry Center, Tomas Tranströmer reads widely from his work as translated by May Swenson, Robert Bly, and Samuel Charters. Given primarily in English, the reading opens with a bilingual performance of "Spår" <"Tracks"> in Swedish and English.
Tomas Tranströmer reads translations of poems that first appeared in For the Living and the Dead (För levande och döda, 1989). Some poems are performed in Swedish and English. In the question and answer session that follows the reading, Tranströmer discusses the collaborative nature of the translation process.