Brassinga studied translation at the University of Amsterdam, after which she made a name for herself as the translator of works by writers such as Marcel Proust and Vladimir Nabokov. In 1987, she made her debut as a poet with the collection Aurora and in 1993 as a novelist with Hartsvanger (Heartcatcher). She is known for her rich vocabulary and linguistic virtuosity. Language is also a theme in her very personal and intimate poetry. She is capable of jumping effortlessly from one theme to the other, and, as she describes it, really loves long, meandering sentences. Brassinga’s work has received numerous awards such as the VSB Poetry Prize and the P.C. Hooft Prize for her entire body of work. In 2015, she spent a year as a guest at the DAAD programme in Berlin. The magazine Schreibheft once dedicated a dossier to her work, and in 2016 a selection of her work will be published by Matthes und Seitz.
Fata Morgana, dürste nach uns
Matthes & Seitz, 2016
Translated by Ira Wilhelm
Original title: Een selectie uit "Wachtwoorden: verzamelde, herziene gedichten, 1987-2015” (De Bezige Bij, 2015)
With ten impressive and extolled bundles to her name, Anneke Brassinga is one of the most important poets in the Netherlands. ‘Effusive and exuberant…Alternatingly burlesque, deeply solemn, euphoric and a bit randy,’ wrote Trouw. And De Morgen: ‘Her poetry is as unique and buoyant as it is beautiful.’ Brassinga enthusiastically experiments with language and forgotten words. Her tone is at times romantic, at others whimsical and even demure. With seeming effortlessness she flows between poetic styles, binding objects, people, images and emotions.
To read Brassinga is to step into a mind-blowing cosmos of language.