Peter Wessel is a poet, teacher and journalist, specialized in art, linguistics and music. Although Danish-born, he has been writing in English since he was 17 and has published mainly in America. In fact, most of the poems in his second book In Place of Absence (Chestnut Hills Press, Baltimore 1990) were first published in about 20 different literary reviews across the USA. In 2003 he began to write and recite translingual poems using the linguistic and cultural ressources of the four countries: Denmark, America, France and Spain in which he had lived and in whose languages he eventually had come to speak to himself. A book-CD, which gives evidence of Wessel’s experiments with oral poetry and music in dialogue with the Danish-Argentinian composer and guitarist Mark Solborg, was published by delsatélite editores, Madrid, in January 2008 and presented to the public in a trio setting on March 18th at La Casa Encendida, Madrid’s most prestigious venue for avant-garde art and culture and also an important center for research into and development of means to prevent social, racial and religious exclusion. Four months later the “programmatic” poem from this book, Un idioma sin fronteras, won the Second Prize in the international art competition 2008culturas.com organized by the Spanish Ministry of Culture to mark the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue. Since September 2008 Peter Wessel and his two sidemen, guitarrist Mark Solborg and Spanish clarinettist Salvador Vidal have given recitals at festivals and cultural institutions in Rome, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Galway and Berlin on a tour sponsored by the Spanish Cervantes Institute.
Peter Wessel is working on a Ph.D. on the Carnival and secular music and dance in Spanish Romanesque iconography while concurrently teaching his course “Rooted in Song – The Role of Afro-Americans and Russian Jews in the Creation of the American Myth”. He has lived in Spain since 1981. His adult daughter and his grand-daughter are French.