Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Willem Van Zadelhoff wins the Herman de Coninck Poetry Award (2009) for best debut

Tijd en landen (Time and Lands) is the (long-anticipated) poetry debut of Willem Van Zadelhoff. This is not monomaniacal poetry. For Van Zadelhoff, many things can be the reason to write a poem: the glint of metal, a bygone love, a dead pet, a voyage through the desert. He offers his subjects equal attention. There is no hierarchy. With his language, he evokes images to preserve them from oblivion.

Van Zadelhoff also wrote the well-received novels Een stoel (A Chair) and Holle haven (Hollow Haven). Last year, his novel Vuur stelen (Stealing Fire) was published and was cheered in NRC Handelsblad: ‘Disillusion and presumption, that’s what Stealing Fire is about. It is presented as a collection of painful, sometimes moving, but above all merciless one-acters. Stylishly, Van Zadelhoff settles scores, not with the ’68’ers in particular this time, but above all with his own generation: the boys and girls who, at the end of the seventies and in the beginning of the eighties were young and militant and who wanted to bring back the fire to the people of a subdued world: the men and women, now in their fifties, washed out or blasé, who reap what they have sowed.’

Click here for more information about the Herman de Coninck Award (Dutch only).

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