Eva Lilja

About Eva Lilja

Eva Lilja

Professor emerita in Literature

Eva Lilja was the founder of The Nordic Society for Metrical Studies. Between 1993 and 2009 she served as chair of the research society. Lilja is the author of the handbook Svensk Metrik [Swedish Metrics], written of behalf of and published by the Swedish Academy. Today the handbook is the standard work in Metrics in Sweden. In addition to this, she has also, amongst others, written extensively on Nordic Modernism.

Ongoing Research

Lilja is currently working on two research projects:

· A Cognitive Theory of Rhythm in Modernist Free Verse;

· The Swedish introduction of cognitive poetics.


Making Truth. On Sustainable Communication. By Eva Lilja & Mona Lilja. Berlin, de Gruyter, 2024

Rhythm in Modern Poetry. An Essay in Cognitive Versification Studies. New York, Bloomsbury Academic, 2023

Poesiens rytmik. En essä om form och betydelse [Rhythm in Poetry. An Essay in Form and Signification]. Linderöd, Ariel, 2014

Svensk Verslära [Swedish Prosody]. Utg. av Svenska Akademien [Publ. by the Swedish Academy]. Stockholm, Norstedts Akademiska, 2008

Svensk Metrik [Swedish Metrics]. Utg. av Svenska Akademien [Publ. by the Swedish Academy]. Stockholm, Norstedts Akademiska, 2006

Metrikens termer. Samnordisk thesaurus [Terms in Metrics]. By Eva Lilja & Peder Skyum-Nielsen, Göteborg, CMS, 2000

Dikters ljudbild [The Sound Image of Poetry]. I Bidrag till en nordisk metrik. [In A Contribution to Nordic Metrics.] By Eva Lilja & Marianne Nordman. Göteborg, CMS, 1999

Den dubbla tungan. En studie i Sonja Åkessons poesi [Double Tongues. A Study in Sonja Åkesson’s Poetry]. Göteborg, Daidalos, 1991

Studier i svensk fri vers. Den fria versen hos Vilhelm Ekelund och Edith Södergran [Studies in Swedish Free Verse]. Diss. Göteborg, 1981

Selected Articles

Falling Movements in Free Verse. Turning back in poems by WC Williams and Sylvia Plath. Forthcoming

Free Verse – Theory and Method. An example in cognitive versification studies. In Around (theory) of the poem. Versification and versology of the last century. Annales Universitatis Paedagogicae Cracoviensis. Studia Poetica. Ed. by Arkadiusz S. Mastalski and Wojciech Pietras. Krakow 2024.

Movement and Balance. A comment on Derek Attridge’s Moving Words. In Studia Metrica et Poetica, 7(2020):2 Tartu. S.90-108

Linguistic Resistance. Establishing, maintaining, and resisting truths. By Mona Lilja & Eva Lilja. In Journal of Resistance Studies. Vol. 4(2018):1. Amherst, Mass.

Embodied Rhythm in Space & Time. A poem and a sculpture. By Lena Hopsch & Eva Lilja. In

Style 51(2017):4. University Park, PA

Öyvind Fahlström’s Bord. Visual devices in Poetry. In Studia Metrica et Poetica. Tartu 2016

Rhythm and Balance in Sculpture and Poetry. By Lena Hopsch & Eva Lilja. In Off Beat. Pluralizing Rhythm. Ed. Jan Hein Hoogstad & Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen. Amsterdam & New York, Rodopi, 2013. P. 103-122

Some Aspects of Poetic Rhythm. An essay in Cognitive Metrics. In Sign System Studies.40(1/2). Ed. Mihail Lotman. Tartu, 2012. P. 52-64

Principles of Rhythm. Temporal and Spatial Aspects. By Eva Lilja & Lena Hopsch. I Changing Borders. Contemporary Positions in Intermediality. Ed. by Jens Arvidson … Lund, Intermedia Studies Press, 2007. S. 361-76

Embedded Meaning of Free Verse Types. With an Example from the Introduction of T.S. Eliot’s ”Ash-Wednesday” in Sweden. In Stylistics and Social Cognition. PALA 25. Ed by Lesley Jeffries … Amsterdam & New York, 2007. P.153-164

The Staves of Alliteration and the Prominences of 'Knittel'. A Contribution to the Problem of the Scandinavian Four Beat Line. Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, XXXV:1, Hrsg. Piergiuseppe Scardigli. Bern, 2003

Articles in full text are to be found at