Grand Poetry Prize to Radna Fabias

17 June 2019

First Paris then the Grand Poetry Prize. Radna Fabias has been awarded the Netherlands’ Grand Poetry Prize 2019 at the 50th Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, for Habitus (De Arbeiderspers). Her first collection made an impressive debut in Dutch-language poetry. It not only received exclusively laudatory reviews, but has now won all four major Dutch poetry awards, including the C. Buddingh’ Prize, the Awater Poetry Prize and the Herman De Coninck Prize 2019.

i am a woman and i am sufficient / there is no emptiness / in me there is a hiding place a front room a waiting room a space / in which i can receive someone / a man / the start of a child / a woman’s fingers still / i am enough no matter / how much postmodern gender theory i hump it still shows i am
from: gieser wildeman

According to the Jury, Radna Fabias (1983) writes “vital, rhythmic, and sound-rich” poetry about Dutch-Antillean lineage and the status of black migrants in the Netherlands. This produces “strong earthly and physical poetry” as well as “political poetry.” It also praised the “complete originality of the cadence of her language use, which manages to bridge the gap between the mind and the lonely, carnal body.”

Her poetry is translated in English, French and Spanish. Upon accepting the Poetry Prize, Fabias had just returned from Paris, where she performed at the Marché de la Poésie, the largest poetry festival in France. The French translation (by Daniel Cunin) of Habitus has just been launched by Caractères publishers.


The Grand Poetry Prize 2019 awards the best original Dutch poetry collection of the year with € 25.000. Simultaneously the C. Buddingh’-prize for the debut collection of the year has been awarded to Roberta Petzoldt for Vruchtwatervuurlinie (Van Oorschot). The School der Poëzie-Communityprize was won by Ted van Lieshout for Ze gaan er met je neus vandoor (Leopold), Roelof ten Napel received the Jongerenprize for Het woedeboek (Hollands Diep), which was also nominated for The Grand Poetry Prize and the C. Buddingh’-prize.

For more information about these and other poets, or samples of their work, you may contact the Dutch Foundation for Literature’s poetry specialist Victor Schiferli.

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