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An English Anthology

Leonard Nolens

Translated by Paul Vincent

Cover of An English Anthology by Leonard Nolens
RRP: GBP 10.39
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ISBN: 978 1 784105 76 1
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Dutch, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2018
128 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB)
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  • ‘I was born in Belgium, I’m Belgian. / But Belgium was never born in me.’ So writes Leonard Nolens in ‘Place and Date’, which captures a mood of political and social disillusionment amid a generation of Dutch-speaking Belgians. And throughout this selection we encounter a poet engaged with the question of national identity.

    Frequently the poet moves into that risky terrain, the firstperson plural, in which he speaks as and for a generation of Flemings, embodying an attitude towards artistic and political commitment that he considers its defining mark. ‘We curled up dejectedly in the spare wheel of May sixtyeight’, he writes in the selection’s central sequence ‘Breach’.

    Nolens’ poetry is haunted by giants of twentieth-century European lyricism, by Rilke, Valéry, Neruda, Mandelstam and Celan, with whom he has arguably more affinity than with much poetry from the Dutch-language canon.
    Leonard Nolens
    Leonard Nolens (born 1947) is an Antwerp-based poet and diarist. He has published some 25 collections, for which he has received both critical and reader acclaim. His work, two of whose principal themes he defines as love and the escape from one's own personality, has been awarded many literary prizes, most ... read more
    Paul Vincent
    Paul Vincent studied at Cambridge and Amsterdam, and after teaching Dutch at the University of London for over twenty years became a full-time translator in 1989. Since then he has published a wide variety of translated poetry, non-fiction and fiction, including work by Achterberg, Claus, Couperus, Mulisch and Van den Brink. ... read more
       'The spellbinding style of the early poems can be traced to the neo-baroque style...a landmark in contemporary Flemish poetry.'
    Astrid Alben, Poetry Salzburg Review, Summer 2019
     'a monumental figure in Flemish literature'
    Poetry International Web
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