Herman de Coninck

Herman de Coninck (1944-1997), poet, essayist and critic, taught for a while after finishing his studies, then became editor of the Flemish weekly magazine Humo. From 1984 until his death, he was editor of the literary magazine Nieuw Wereld Tijdschrift. Since his debut in 1969, he has published many collections of poetry, all of which excelled in their power to relativize, their irony and their great accessibility. De Coninck was Flanders’s best-read poet. His most important work can be found in the collection Onbegonnen werk (Hopeless Task, 1984), and in his more recent publications: Enkelvoud (Singular, 1991), Schoolslag (Breaststroke, 1994) and the posthumously published collection Vingerafdrukken (Fingerprints).


(De Arbeiderspers, 1997, 60 pagina's)

Herman de Coninck died when the galleys of his collection of poems Vingerafdrukken were going to press. His sudden death, at the age of 53, sent a shockwave through Dutch-language literature. Not only because he died on the job - on the street in Lisbon, on his way to a poets’ gathering - but also because of the dynamic role he played in the literary world. As a critic for the weekly magazine De Morgen and editor of the literary journal Nieuw Wereld Tijdschrift, he was able to clearly put his stamp on poetry. He wrote crystal-clear essays about his favourite poets and was able to defend them, and help advance their cause.

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