If the Future Is a Traveller on his Way

An Extract from Thomas Rosenboom’s The New Man The first steamship to honour Groningen with a visit was the English seagoing tug Selsey Bill; it entered via Delfzijl and steamed all the way along the narrow Damsterdiep canal to the city, where it was greeted by a cheering crowd. After nine days of accolade, the…

How an American Became a Dutch Author

When transsexuals claim they were born in the wrong body, I can understand how they feel. Growing up in the USA, I felt that I had been born in the wrong place. I had known since childhood that I wanted to be a writer, and since adolescence that Europe was where I rightfully belonged. Everything…

Mont Ventoux

Writing verse is cycling up Mont Ventoux, where Tommy Simpson met his tragic end, before he ever made the final bend the once world champion collapsed from view. here riders all try shaking off the pack, a category one col, now taboo. it has a pinewood scent, Sunsilk Shampoo, which you could need to use…

My Head is a Small Boat to America

An Extract from Pol Hoste’s Montréal, Carnet II 30 Brussels, Zaventem Take a seat in a plane. There are radishes, there is whisky, celery, brown rice. Thank the farmers and the fishermen. – And the thin light? The flight engineer clicks my body securely in place, gives it wings, we’re floating to Montréal. Encre. I…

Three Poems

Fables of the Sacred Heart (1) Those were days of cycling in the mountains. Of climbing, descending. Of enormous hunger for more and as long as they blocked the peak’s virginity from view in their groaning scent of resin, pine trees acted out this problem to excess. But above the treeline you feel free. Trundling…

A Total Eclipse of the Heart

About Dirk van Bastelaere It is one of the pillars of Dirk van Bastelaere’s poetry – and a crucially ironic one, I believe – that a poem is never self-evident. The same could probably be said of everyone, except for the odd dishevelled poetaster here and there, but I’m not talking about technical difficulties in…

The Netherlands Gets on its Bike

If you had to take one photo that summed up the Netherlands as the average foreigner sees it, what would it show? Queen Beatrix in clogs, cycling past a row of windmills, with the glassy eyes of dozens of cows staring at her in astonishment – this would probably qualify. It is not very likely…