The P.C. Hooft Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes for literature in the Netherlands is awarded to poet Anneke Brassinga (1948), whose work has been supported by by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and has been translated in more than ten languages including German and French. The annual award is alternately given for prose (fiction), essays (non-fiction) and poetry and will be presented to Brassinga on Thursday May 21th 2015 for her body of poetry.
The jury praised her use of nearly forgotten words and her love for the inexhaustible possibilities of language:
In every poem new ways of expressiveness are opened. The language is being turned over, stripped down and redressed until every tone of voice or style that ever existed, is reintroduced.
The jury also praised the poet’s diversity:
This poet has literary been everywhere, in countless literatures, traditions and environments, from the world of academics to the market place, from the street to the pub. In her poems, Brassinga uses almost forgotten or rarely frequented words with such noticeable pleasure that we can taste them once again. Her love for the inexhaustible possibilities of language and poetry are constants in her work.
Besides poetry, Brassinga also published essays, letters, diaries and travel stories and literary translations of Oscar Wilde, Jules Vere, Herman Broch, Vladimir Nabokov, E.M. Forster and Sylvia Plath. She started publishing poetry in the 1970’s but made her official debut in 1987 with the collection Aurora and has since published ten collections of poetry. Earlier this year De Bezige Bij published her most recent volume, Wederkerige. She has received much acclaim for her work.
Brassinga currently lives and works as a writer in residence in Berlin, on invitation of the prestigious DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) program.