Joke van Leeuwen writes poetry and prose, which she illustrates herself, for both adults and children. Her work includes dozens of titles, for which she has now been awarded the Constantijn Huygensprijs. ‘Whether she writes or draws, for adults or for children,’ the jury writes, ‘her very personal style makes her work always instantly recognisable as that of Joke van Leeuwen.’
Van Leeuwens most well-known work includes Iep! (Cheep!), Waarom een buitenboordmotor eenzaam is (Why An Outboard Motor Is Lonely) and Kukel (Tumble). Her children’s books have won many Gouden Griffel and Zilveren Griffel Awards, but she was also awarded the C. Buddingh’-prijs for her poetry debut, Laatste Lezers (Last Readers), written for adults. In 2010 she received the Gouden Ganzenveer. Van Leeuwen’s most recent novel, Feest van het begin (Feast of the Beginning), her collection of poetry, Grijp de dag aan (Seize the Day) and the iPad app Kweenie (Dunno) were created with support of a Letterenfonds grant, which, however, contributed mostly towards the many translations of her work, including into German, Danish, Italian, Turkish and Swedish. The Constantijn Huygensprijs offers a sum of 10,000 euros. Last year, the prize was awarded to A.F.Th. van der Heijden.