Hjörtur Pálsson was born in 1941 in northern Iceland and lives in Kópavogur in the Reykjavík area. Educated in Icelandic language, literature and history as well as theology, he belonged to the staff of the Icelandic State Radio, mainly as newsman and programme director for twenty years. For a short while he taught at the university of Århus and was director of the Nordic House in the Faroe Isles.
He is the author of five books of poetry, the first of which was published in 1972, and one book on history. He has translated many books of various kinds, among them novels and prose works by Karen Blixen, Per Olov Enquist, Martin A. Hansen, Jaan Kross, Leena Lander, Doris Lessing, Isaac Bashevis Singer and August Strindberg and three books of poetry by Rolf Jacobsen, Jaan Kaplinski and Henrik Nordbrandt.
A few of Hjörtur Pálsson´s poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals in English, Finnish and Norwegian. He has won acknowledgement and been awarded different prizes for his poetry and translations, among them two of the major poetry prizes awarded in Iceland, the Jón úr Vör and Guðmundur Böðvarsson prizes.