Yahya Hassan – Poetry, anger and death

Yahya Hassan is the young poet who came to live a short, fast and hard life.

When he made his debut in 2013 with his collection of poems, he took the cultural world by storm. He was a poet with a rare charisma, rawness and pitch black blackness. A talent that suddenly made the whole of Denmark talk about poetry. But his poems and statements about Islam, and what he considered to be “religious hypocrisy”, led to criticism and even death threats. For a long time he lived with security police as constant companions.

In 2019, his second collection of poems was published, “Yahya Hassan 2”, with an even darker picture of himself and society. It was also praised by critics. But Yahya Hassan himself, will feel like an animal at the zoo.

At that time, Yahya Hassan had been convicted of several crimes, and was cared for at times in psychiatric clinics. He had also steered into a more political path, he later gave up.

In April 2020, he was found dead in his apartment, only 24 years old.

The episode includes Rakel Chukri, cultural reporter at Sydsvenskan, and Martin Krasnik, Yahya Hassan’s friend and editor-in-chief of Weekendavisen.

Host: Vendela Lundberg

Section author: Sally Henriksson

Producer: Axel Winqvist and Vendela Lundberg

Technician: Fredrik Nilsson

The episode was made in the autumn of 2021 by Studio Olga.

The sound clips are from Denmark Radio’s documentary “Yahya Hassan – The Born Poet”, the documentary “Genfortælling”, DR, Weekendavisen, Louisiana Channel, ABC, France 24, Gyldendal and Swedish Radio.






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