Guðrún Hannesdóttir was born on June 18th, 1944. She graduated from MR secondary school in 1964, studied art history at The University of Lund in Sweden from 1968-70 and received her bachelor’s degree in library and information science from The University of Iceland in 1979. As a librarian, Guðrún has among other things managed the library of The Reykjavík School of Visual Arts.
In 1994 Guðrún published Gamlar vísur handa nýjum börnum (Old Verses for New Children), where she illustrated a number of old poems for children, which she herself had collected and edited. Since then Guðrún has written and illustrated a number of children’s books as well as writing poetry. She has collected folk verses both from written sources and the oral tradition, and published in three books. Her poems and articles have been published in magazines and newspapers as well as in several collections of her own poetry. Guðrún has also held exhibitions of her artwork, by herself and in company, in Iceland as well as abroad.
Guðrún has sat on the board of Börn og bækur, the Icelandic arm of IBBY organization (the International Board on Books for Young People), and on the editorial team of the magazine Börn og menning, published by the organization. She has received awards for her writing and illustration, most notably The Icelandic Children’s Literature award in 1996 for Risinn þjófótti og skyrfjallið (The Thieving Giant and the Mountain of Skyr), which she co-authored with writer Sigrún Helgadóttir; and the Ljóðstafur Jóns úr Vör poetry award for her poem “Offors” (Racket).
2021 – The Icelandic Translation Award: Dyrnar (Az ajtó) by Magda Szabó
2007 – The Ljóðstafur Jóns úr Vör poetry award: „Offors“.
2004 – The Ljóðstafur Jóns úr Vör poetry award, special recognition: „Þar“.
1998 – The IBBY Honour List: Risinn þjófótti og skyrfjallið (The Thieving Giant and the Mountain of Skyr).
1996 – The Icelandic Children's Literature Prize: Risinn þjófótti og skyrfjallið (The Thieving Giant and the Mountain of Skyr).
1994 – A Special Recognition by the Icelandic IBBY Section: Gamlar vísur handa nýjum börnum (Old Rhymes for New Children).