Miriam Van hee

© Michiel Hendryckx
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Miriam Van hee

1952, Ghent
Poet. Translator. Teacher. Spends her spare time in France.

After graduating in Slavic languages in Ghent, Miriam Van hee began teaching Slavic Studies in Antwerp. She has translated bundles by Anna Achmatova, Osip Mandelstam and Josif Brodski. In 1978, she published her own debut bundle Het karige maal (The Frugal Meal). With Achter de bergen (Behind the Mountains, 1996) she became the first woman to win the Flemish community’s Driejaarlijkse Cultuurprijs voor Poëzie. The jury praised her simplicity and suggestive quality and the meticulous way she raises everyday experiences in drawn-out verse to a higher level. One of the principal themes in her work is people’s sense of alienation. In her poetry she combines sober, direct and ostensibly simple language with musicality. Van hee has emerged as one of the most popular poets of Flanders and the Netherlands and her work is also appreciated abroad. Her poetry first appeared in a collected bundle in 1996 in Het verband tussen de dagen (The Connection between the Days), subsequently followed by other bundles. Her latest collection Ook daar valt het licht (The Light Also Falls There, 2013) was nominated for a VSB Poëzieprijs. Her work has received many prizes and has been translated into over ten languages.


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