Menno Wigman

Menno Wigman (1966-2018) published five poetry collections, compiled several anthologies, and translated a large number of European poets, including Baudelaire, Rilke and Laske-Schüler. In 2006, Wigman was the youngest poet to write the ‘Gedichtendagbundel’: a small collection with a print run of 15,000 copies, published to celebrate the Dutch and Flemish National Poetry Day. In 2007 he made his debut as a prose writer with Het gesticht (The Mental Institution), a lively and fascinating report of the three months he spend as a poet-in-residence at a mental institution near the Dutch village Den Dolder. A collection of his essays on poetry, Save Us from the Poets, was published in 2010. His collection of poems, My Name is Legion (2012), was shortlisted for the VSB Poetry Prize and won the Awater Poetry Prize in 2013. In 2018 he was awarded the Ida Gerhardt Poëzieprijs.

The poetry of Menno Wigman

The poetry of Menno Wigman

(Prometheus, )

As a poet, and also as a translator, Wigman is steeped in the tradition of nineteenth-century ‘black’ romanticism, including that period’s mix of posture and authenticity. The existence he describes has all the hallmarks of a lost generation in the style of the French Poètes maudits. There is also a link with certain trends in pop music; Wigman has played in punk rock bands. His poetry is on the whole melancholy, sombre, in tone. He is, in fact, a modern-day practitioner of Weltschmerz and Spleen: love is consummated but doomed to fail; paradise is forever sought but never found, young people indulge in loose and licentious living, but gloom persists.

Read more