Kees Spiering

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Love, adolescent insecurities, the pain of growing up. Kees Spiering writes about these themes without needing any big words. He simply records, showing that a small moment in a young life can be of great significance.

For example, when a son beats his father in a game of chess: ‘Tonight I defeated my dad. / We looked up from the game / faces like yoghurt, my head / as empty as a classroom in summertime. / His too, I think. […]’ Or he lends sensitive words to a sickness: ‘She’s as young / as me, but the word they gave her / is for strange grandpas.’ At the same time, Spiering is matterof- fact and can also downplay moments of great happiness: ‘Last night – I think – I finally really kissed.’

This rich collection brings together almost one hundred poems – and these are poems that are very intense. Spiering’s poetry touches the reader, but it does not always reveal its secrets immediately. As in an ambiguous elegy to a lost love: ‘I’d rather see / your eye sockets eaten out by hungry birds / than never see you again.’

A magnificent overview of the work of one of the Netherlands’ best poets for young people.

Spiering writes poetry without pretensions, but if you read his poems out loud, you hear that his “ordinary” sentences are indeed ingenious.


Kees Spiering

Over the course of thirty years, Kees Spiering (b. 1958) has published five collections of poetry for young teens and three for adults.

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Jij begint (2018). Children's books, 128 pages.

Met illustraties van Alette Straathof
Age: 12+



Leidsegracht 105 a
1017 ND Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20-530 73 40
Fax: +31 20-626 26 51

[email protected]

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