A post by Peter Jordens.
Several Dutch news items report that Curaçao-born poet Radna Fabias has won the Aan Zee [At the Seaside] Poetry Debut Prize, which is the fifth prize that she has won with her debut poetry collection called Habitus (De Arbeiderspers, 2018). This reconfirms her status as the most acclaimed debut poet ever in the Dutch language. Earlier, she won the C. Buddingh’ Prize, the Awater Poetry Prize, the Herman de Coninck Prize, and the Netherlands Grand Poetry Prize.
The Jury Report states:
“If lucky, readers get drawn into a language; at best, they get pulled into a new world. The 35-year-old poet Radna Fabias provides an exceptional ‘at best’ case. Fabias does what readers hope a poet can do: she does not just throw language and thoughts at you; she draws you into her world. The opening poem of her collection Habitus starts with an appropriate image: shiny wheel rims, flawlessly polished and too big and expensive for the cars to which they are attached. It’s fitting, because what follows is speed: 115 mesmerizing, generous, sensory, playful, daring pages. She introduces the reader to the Dutch Antilles, to perforce powerful women, and to the peril that always lurks around the corner. All of this haunts Fabias, such that she must write poetry about it: she speaks of “the inability to amputate my cultural background from my identity.” And it haunts the reader. […] The Jury reached a consensus quite quickly and agreed: What a gift, this Habitus, and what a winner for the Aan Zee Poetry Debut Prize!”
The Aan Zee Poetry Debut Prize is an initiative of the Poëziecentrum (Dutch-Flemish knowledge and expertise center for poetry in the Dutch language, based in Gent, Belgium) and deAuteurs (Flemish authors collective) in collaboration with KAAP (Flemish regional art center) and Theater Aan Zee (annual theater and music festival in Oostende, Belgium). The Prize includes an amount of 1,500 Euros.
The original news items (in Dutch) are: https://www.poeziecentrum.be/bericht/radna-fabias-laureaat-van-de-po%C3%ABziedebuutprijs-aan-zee-2019, https://www.tzum.info/2019/08/nieuws-radna-fabias-wint-ook-poeziedebuutprijs-aan-zee, https://www.parool.nl/kunst-media/poeziedebuut-radna-fabias-opnieuw-in-de-prijzen~b6c938e1 and https://www.poezieclub.nl/nieuws/107-radna-fabias-wint-poeziedebuutprijs-aan-zee.html.
The translations are by Peter Jordens.
The photo is by Bianca Sistermans, https://biancasistermans.com.