Sonja Åkesson 1926 – 1977

Sonja Åkesson was born in April 1926 in Gotland, a big island  south-east of the Swedish mainland. After the compulsory 7-year school she worked as waitress and later as telephone operator till she married and lived in Visby, the capital of Gotland.

After an affair with a married man she fled, pregnant, to Stockholm. Her parents had moved there. Her son Rolf was born and died on his 3rd birthday. She has now divorced her husband Nils Westberg and left her two small children with their father.

In 1954 she joined a writing circle in modern poetry and from then on she had found her vocation. She found a way to express her unhappiness and the agony of everyday life´s trivialities. She developed  a sharp eye and a fine sense of humour for society´s unequalness between classes and sexes.

During the  late sixties and early seventies  revolutionary activities in Sweden didn´t fight for women´s right . This void  can be seen in her breakthrough poems Domestic Peace in 1968. With this book she established herself as a  writer with a new  language. By then she was married to Bo Holmberg, whom she met in the writing circle. They had a son Mikael.

 

In 1965 Sonja met a young poet, Jarl Hammarberg. After her divorce from Bo Holmberg she married Jarl and later had their daughter Gertie. In many poems Sonja lamented  her shortcomings as a mother.

By the sixties Sonja Åkesson was an established poet and widened her field to songs, and theatre- and cabarettexts. She was commissioned by the fringe theatre groups and she also took part in the work on the stage.

 In the seventies Sonja´s mental health deteriorated  But she keeps writing and visiting schools and prisons to read from her own texts.

She died on May 5 1977 of cancer after a long illness. She is buried in Skogskyrkogården, a vast and very beautiful cemetery, hilly and with tall pine trees , quiet and still. The buildings are designed by Erik Asplund of world renown.

This year, 2006, Sonja would have had her 80th birthday, and the Society celebrates her throughout the year with different programmes, among those a visit to the grave.

Sonja Åkesson is long dead but her poetry lives.