Andy Fierens made his debut in 2009 with the anthology of poems, Grote Smerige Vlinder (Big Disgusting Butterfly), immediately snapping up the Herman de Coninck Debut Prize. Prior to this, he organised events such as the first Flemish Poetry Slam and several tours for Didi de Paris and the poetry group De Dichters uit Epibreren. A collaboration with Michaël Brijs, the novel Astronaut van Oranje (Astronaut of Orange) was published in 2013.
Fierens is known as being an outsider in the Flemish literary world. His hilarious, merciless texts and uncompromising live performances make him a highly sought-after and remarkable guest on Belgian, Dutch and South African stages.
Andy Fierens is one of the few Flemish poets also performing regularly in Wallonia and France.
Gambaviecher in fetter Tunke
Das Wunderhorn Verlag, 2016
Translated by Stefan Wieczorek
Original title: Grote Smerige Vlinder (De Bezige Bij, 2009)
Andy Fierens’ official debut, Big Nasty Butterfly, is poetry from here and, above all, now. In a world where alienation and uncertainty reign, this collection presents people just trying to hold their heads above water. Nothing is holy in Fierens’ poems: they are fashioned from venomous text bites that together empty a ruthless barrage of sharply-filed baby teeth upon the reader. As such, we witness a passing colorful parade, groaning and doomed, whose helplessness hides behind a mask of sarcastic one-liners.
Big Nasty Butterfly is a turbulent journey that swallows the reader whole in its vulgarity and despair: ‘Yes there is light: at the end of the tunnel, a 40-watt bulb.’ However, first and foremost this collection is a plea for courage, revelry and self-mockery—a plea, if we’re going to die anyway, for doing so with a bang.
Andy Fierens has an unmistakable feel for humor.
One of the few poets that can pump such spirit into words on a podium.