Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paul Bogaert awarded with the Herman de Coninck poetry prize 2010

On 28 January, Paul Bogaert receives the prestigious Herman de Coninck poetry prize 2010 for his collection de Slalom soft (the Slalom soft). Bogaert’s de Slalom soft is one of the best longer poems to enrich Dutch and Flemish literature in recent years.

In Trouw, Erik Jan Harmens wrote the following about the collection. 'All day long, we receive information that doesn’t tell us anything new and entertainment that doesn’t entertain. [...] It’s about time a poet draws attention to this. And that is exactly what Paul Bogaert does in his fourth collection de Slalom soft. The wallpaper music in public spaces is called ‘a track of muzak’, a ‘non-stop shuffle’ and ‘something thin that pours out of the speakers’. To the person making the public announcements on the intercom, the poet hisses in a somewhat cryptic way: ‘Where’s the voice saying “Move along”? “Be happy”?’ I believe he means that in an airport you’re not only told to mind the step after the escalator. At the same time, your pathetic life and never realized dreams are pointed out to you. And then there’s the profusion of signposts, which Bogaert puts into words as follows: “Next to the entrance, there’s an arrow pointing in the direction of the entrance”. [...] For a large part, the poetry in de Slalom soft is written with words I constantly hear around me but which I never thought to be worthy of being used in poems. [...] Despite the fact that, when reading the collection, you never know what it’s really about, the language is addictive. [...] Bogaert shows us hell. Or worse, he shows us the world in which we live.'

Paul Bogaert (Brussels, 1968) also published the collections WELCOME HYGIENE (1996), Circulaire systemen (Circular systems) (2002) and AUB (PLEASE) (2006). In 2008, he also wrote the National Poetry Day essay Verwondingen (Injuries). In that same year, AUB was nominated for the Vlaamse Cultuurprijs voor Poëzie (Flemish Culture Prize for Poetry) which is awarded every three years.

Last year, the Herman de Coninck Award also went to a writer of the Meulenhoff
Manteau publishing house: Willem van Zadelhoff. Click here for more information about the Herman de Coninck Award (Dutch only).

No comments: