Below, we have listed a brief selection of the most interesting Belgian poetry websites. Each description also mentions the language(s) in which the site is available.
Digital Library of Dutch Literature
The DBNL archives integral texts from Dutch literary history, from the Middle Ages up to the present day.
Information for students and teachers regarding Medieval literature from the Low Countries.
A multilingual Internet platform presenting international, high-quality poetry in audio (read by the authors themselves) and text form (original version & translations). Lyrikline.org contains audio-files and poetry by the Flemish poets Paul Bogaert, Hugo Claus, Maurice Gilliams Stefan Hertmans, Leonard Nolens, Dirk Van Bastelaere, Miriam Van hee in French, English, Italian and German translation.
Language: German, English, French, Arabic and Slovenian
Language: Dutch, English, French
Language: Dutch, English, French, Spanish
Peter Holvoet Hanssen
Flemish Literature Fund
The Flemish Literature Fund awards subsidies to foreign publishers for the translation of literary works by Dutch language authors from Flanders. The following genres can be supported: prose, poetry, literary non-fiction, drama, youth literature and comics.
Archief en Museum voor het Vlaamse Cultuurleven. The central literary archive of Flanders, AMVC-Letterenhuis owns over a million letters and writings of Flemish writers, 125,000 photographs, etc. The archive is accessible through the on-line database ‘Agrippa’. Permanent and thematical exhibitions are held. The AMVC-Letterenhuis also publishes books on editing and previously unpublished works by Flemish authors.
Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België
The Belgian national scientific library.
Poëziecentrum is a house full of poetry with a documentation centre on Dutch poetry, a publishing house, a shop and the monthly “Poëziekrant”. Poëziecentrum regularly organises poetry readings as well as an annual poetry festival, Versmacht in de nacht, and Dichter aan Huis.
Behoud De Begeerte
Organiser of, among other things, ‘Saint Amour’, ‘Geletterde Mensen’ and ‘Koningsblauw’.
Het Beschrijf is a Brussels literary association housed in the literary centre Passa Porta. Its activities include literary programmes, writing workshops, the literature festivals Het Groot Beschrijf and Literair Rendez-Vous and such international manifestations as the Salon du Livre 2003 in Paris.
Residence in Flanders
Residence in Flanders is an initiative of the Flemish minister of Culture and the Brussels literary association Het Beschrijf that enables foreign authors to apply for residence in a writer’s apartment in the heart of Brussels or in an old villa out in the surrounding countryside.
The Translators' House in the centre of Antwerp offers residences to foreign translators who wish to translate Dutch- language authors.
Passa Porta is an international house of literature. It offers a platform for writers of prose and poetry but also to philosophers and artists who would like to engage in debate. It is a meeting place for lovers of literature, a space where the ties between Dutch, French and foreign-language literature are strengthened.
Het Andere Boek
Het Andere Boek is the annual book event where ‘good’ books are centre stage. Attention is in particular paid to present-day literature at an international level and to topical societal issues.
De Boekenbeurs is an annual event visited by over 100,000 book lovers. All Flemish and Dutch publishers are represented.
Saint Amour is a literary performance on love that has already played to full houses in Flanders for more than fifteen years. The unique feature of this literary happening is the correlation between literary and theatre, with the introduction of musical interactions and film fragments. So far, over 100 authors and poets have taken part in Saint Amour. The same organiser is also responsible for the poetry happened Koningsblauw, a homage to Dutch-language poetry in general and to the poet Herman de Coninck (1944-1997) in particular.
De Nachten is a cross-over festival with music, literature, film and the visua arts. It offers a podium to well-known and less well-known talent from at home and abroad.
Het Groot Beschrijf
Het Groot Beschrijf is a biennial literature festival that takes place in the entire city centre of Brussels. Museums, cafés, restaurants, shops and theatres are all devoted to literature for a whole weekend. Everywhere where there is a room to be found readings, debates and interviews with writers take place. The festival is organised by the literary association Het Groot Beschrijf.
The country village of Watou is transformed every summer into the one and only ‘poetry village’ of the Low Countries. Via a walking trail, poems are confronted throughout the village with present-day works of art by such artists as the Belgians Panamarenko and Jan Fabre. This interartistic exhibition has a long tradition as a major attraction for culture-loving tourists.
Zuiderzinnen is an annual ‘festival of the word’ in Antwerp, with writers, poets, singers, actors and politicians from the Netherlands and Flanders taking part.
The Krikri Festival is an annual international festival on polypoetry. It seeks to present poetry in a modern fashion, but poetry that makes use of all kinds of language utterances (i.e. not only words), that eventually makes sensible use of (multi)media and performance art, that also recognises the traditions of non-Western cultures and is not necessarily bound to ‘the book’.
De Brakke Hond
De Brakke Hond publishes stories, poetry and essays mainly by rising talents, although each issue also features established names. Occasionally, it also includes socially oriented contributions.
Deus ex Machina
Deus ex Machina features dossiers on foreign literature or literary-sociological themes. The contributions on writers from abroad seeks above all to draw attention to authors who have been neglected by Dutch-language publishers, or have not yet been discovered by them. Deus ex Machina focuses in each issue on a particular theme or a language region.
DW&B is the oldest literary periodical in Flanders. It has existed since 1855. DW&B is primarily a creative literary periodical that publishes both recognised names as well as swiftly rising talents. DB&W also likes to focus on the domain of cross-pollination between literature and plastic art, photography, video-art, performance and modern dance.
Het Liegend Konijn
Twice a year, the periodical provides a varied picture of topical Dutch-language poetry by featuring new, previously unpublished work by a wide range of poets. Het Liegend Konijn does not represent one particular view of poetry. It tries to focus on poets with highly diverse views of poetics. The driving force behind the periodical is Jozef Deleu, founder of the Ons Erfdeel foundation, poet and compiler of innumerable poetry anthologies on Dutch-language poetry.
Het Trage Vuur
Het Trage Vuur provides access to Chinese literature in translation and also seeks points of contact with Dutch-language literature. The emphasis is on present-day literature, although classical literature is also generously represented. Alongside short stories, essays and poetry in translation, the periodical also features background articles, interviews, book reviews and art reproductions.
The Flemish-Dutch Foundations Ons Erfdeel seeks to make the culture of Flanders and the Netherlands known outside its own borders. The Foundation published books about culture in the Low Countries in various languages. It also publishes diverse periodicals: the Dutch-language Ons Erfdeel, the French-language Septentrion and the English yearbook The Low Countries. Ons Erfdeel has also published the anthology Contemporary Dutch poets in Dutch, French, German, English, Spanish, Swedish, Hungarian and Czech.
Poëziekrant is a two-monthly periodical that is entirely devoted to poetry. Each issue includes poems by Dutch-language and foreign poets, commentaries, reviews, essays, interviews, opinions and other up-to-date information. Poëziekrant also provides information about poetry for and by young people. Poëziekrant is published by the Poëziecentrum, a centre for documentation, information and study, but also a publishing house.
For years, Revolver has been considered one of the important literary periodicals in Flanders. This is primarily due to its solid theme numbers on such authors as Hugo Claus and Willem Elsschot and its interest in the visual arts. For lovers of poetry, its annual anthology number dealing with the annual Antwerp poetry festival Dichters in het Elzenveld is very important.
Yang is considered to be one of the most important literary and cultural journals of the Low Countries. Four times a year, yang publishes contemporary poetry, prose and literary criticism of both Dutch-speaking authors and foreign authors in Dutch translation. More recently, yang has also opened a platform for articles in which urgent socio-political matters are debated. Yang has been the Flemish journal of the avant-garde, with a sharp appetite for adventure, experiment and reflection.
A general overview of Flemish literary and cultural magazines.