Leonard Nolens,  Winner of the Dutch Literature Prize

The Dutch Literature Prize, the most important literary award in the Dutch language area, was presented to the Antwerp poet Leonard Nolens (b. 1947) by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at the end of 2012. Since his debut with Orpheushanden (Orpheus hands, 1969), Nolens has published more than twenty poetry collections and five diaries. The…

Extracts from ‘A Poet’s Diary 1979-2007’

Berchem, Friday 17 September 1993 How can the intelligence stay flexible when year after year at school it is pulled taut by parroting? Does intellectual freedom disappear when at the age of thirty it has to dress in three-piece suits? Does sufficient blood flow into a married penis? Can you stay a child if you…

Giving Form to the Fleeting

A Response to Leonard Nolens’ Diary Winterswijk, Sunday 29 November 2009 Poetry, love and alcoholism form a fatal triangle. It’s a fact that they are related, but it’s not that easy to pinpoint the source of their affinity or the reason they so often need each other. What does link them at any rate is…

Four Poems

Kiss With you away my time has overflowed. Gone are the banks which were my vantage point, Gone are the firm contours of our presence. You directed all waters, brought the Greek river Of passing time to our house and put it to sleep In our bed, we could see it through ourselves. Tomorrow when…

‘Read me in full or not at all’

The Poetry of Leonard Nolens It is not particularly difficult to write a purely informative introduction on a generally acclaimed poet from a smallish language area – in this case Dutch – for an international audience. However, it is a more interesting but also much trickier task to try to give some indication of the…

Albatross

That travel, those trips of yours the last few years, All of them alibis of a seasoned albatross To fly yourself to sleep henceforth, all of them Flights of fancy in seventh heaven, all of them Pretexts for not landing ever, anywhere any more On your feet, never again waddling from your desk To your…