Tsead Bruinja New Poet Laureate of the Netherlands

18 January 2019

Tsead Bruinja has been appointed as the new Poet Laureate of the Netherlands for a period of two years. Bruinja is the seventh Poet Laureate of the Netherlands, appointed by a commission of experts and prominent writers. The next two years he will write poems on the occasion of national events and act as poetry ambassador.

According to the committee, Bruinja (Rinsumageest, 1974) is “a poet who can be both sensitive and sharp in honest, simple words, who can elevate an anecdote to poetry and alternate between rawness and lyricism”. Furthermore, Bruinja is “an enthusiastic ambassador for poetry in the broadest sense of the word: as anthologist, performer on stage and in the media, organizer of events and stimulator of cross-fertilization with other art forms. In his often engaged poetry he moves effortlessly between the inner and outer world - and where it does take effort, it yields exciting poetry.” The poems that Bruinja will write on current events will be published in the leading Dutch daily newspaper NRC.

Tsead Bruinja (b. 1974) is a Dutch poet who writes both in Frisian and Dutch. He made his debut in 2000 with the Frisian language collection called De wizers yn it read (The meters in the red). Bruinja’s debut in the Dutch language, Dat het zo hoorde (The way it should sound), was published in 2003, and was nominated for the Jo Peters Poetry Prize the following year. Bruinja compiles anthologies – including the famous Kutgedichten (Twat Poems) and the anthology Droom in Blauwe regenjas - nieuwe Friese dichters (Dream in a Blue Raincoat – new Frisian poets) – writes critical reviews, hosts literary events and performs in the Netherlands and abroad. His latest poetry collection (2018) was the bilingual Hingje net alle klean op deselde kapstôk / Hang niet alle kleren aan dezelfde kapstok (Don’t Hang all the Clothes on the Same Coat Rack).


The Poet Laureate was established in 2000 as an initiative of Poetry International, NPS and NRC. The position has since been held by Gerrit Komrij, Simon Vinkenoog, Driek van Wissen, Ramsey Nasr, Anne Vegter and Ester Naomi Perquin. With effect from this period, the organization and coordination of the Poet Laureate is in the hands of the new Poet Laureate Foundation. The Poet Laureate is financially supported by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Stichting Lezen, and collaborates with partners Poetry International, de Schrijverscentrale, the National Library, NRC and Poetry Club.