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Óttar Nordfjörd started his writing career as a poet, before moving on to novels and screenplays. His first poetry collection (Í Reykjavík) was published 2002 and since then he has published four more collections:

Óttar often uses imagery in his poems, for example making drawings in Sirkus and doing collages in Gleði og glötun. Also, A-Ö is influenced by both sound poetry and concrete poetry. Each word in the book is in alphabetical order, from the first word in the first poem to the last word in the last poem.

Óttar’s interest in drawing has led to the publication of two political comic books and a comic strip in Grapevine (Iceland’s only English newspaper), along with Elo Vázquez, called Nicelanders:

Creating collages has also become part of Óttar’s art. He has contributed to collections of essays with numerous collages and in 2009 he published a 264-page collage biography (Arkitektinn með alpahúfuna) about his late father which one critic called “an amazing piece of collage art work”:

Óttar also published a short novel called Örvitinn eða; hugsjónamaðurinn (The Idiot or; the Visionary) in 2009, illustrated by Inga BirgisdóttirIt has been characterised as a meditation on the first decade of the 21st century in novella form, a bildungsroman with close ties to Voltaire's Candide.

Along with publishing his own books, Óttar has edited two books. One containing the 12 best chess games by his father and another one about Islam. He has also written about the moral system of the Vikings, published poems in various magazines and a bestselling biography about a polemic Icelandic figure: