Bette Westera is the winner of the Golden Poetry Medal 2018, the biennial award for the best children’s poetry collection written in Dutch. The prize was awarded to her for her collection Was de aarde vroeger plat? (Gottmer, 2017). Westera won the Golden Poetry Medal for the second time in a row, after being awarded the prize in 2016 for her collection Doodgewoon (Gottmer, 2014), which was subsequently translated into German by Rolf Erdorf.
Bette Westera (b. 1958) is a versatile writer who creates modern fairytales, poems, picture books and realistic stories for children up to the age of around ten. After a short period as a primary-school teacher, she studied psychology. Bette now teaches people how to write stories for picture books.
Her book Dead Simple (Doodsimpel) is a collection of poems, rhymes and songs for children about death in all its aspects. The collection, which was part of the Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2015)-catalogue, won several literary prizes, including the Golden Slate Pencil (Gouden Griffel) in 2015 for the best children’s book of the preceding year.
The Golden Poetry Medal is an initiative of Poëziecentrum, the documentation and information center for Dutch-language poetry, foreign poetry in Dutch translation, and South African poetry, and CANON Cultuurcel, the cultural education-programme of the Belgian government.