Although Roland Jooris published a relatively small number of poetry volumes over a period of forty years, they nevertheless succeeded in earning his a substantial reputation. In the wake of postwar experimentalism, in the late nineteen-fifties he published several hermetic collections, which he later rejected. Only ten years later did he ‘debut’ once more with poems in the vein of new realism, a trend in Dutch poetry that focuses on the ordinary day-to-day reality.
In his work, Jooris goes in search of points of contact between poetry and reality. In his later work, too, reality remains the point of departure, but the poet endeavours to distil it even further, transforming it into a nucleus of calm, illusion and spiritualisation. Jooris’ poetry evolves along the way into more stubborn terseness, into more language ascesis and calm. It is an evolution from concrete visibility to more abstract contemplation, from euphoria with regard to reality as poetry to the distillation of poetry as reality. His poetry is striking in its great expressive power, in its pureness of line and speech. French poetry has been a major influence in his work and he has a great admiration for the writings of André Du Bouchet and Pierre Reverdy. Painting is a second inspiration for his work, much of which first saw the light of day in bibliophile collections, where his poetry was linked with images by his favourite painters. In addition to being a poet, Jooris is also a renowned art critic and champion of the art of painting. He has written essays on such painters as Raoul De Keyser, Eugene Leroy and Roger Raveel. In daily life, Jooris used to be for a long time the curator of the Roger Raveel museum. In 2005 Jooris won the prestigious three annual Flemish Culture Prize for his collection Gekras (Scribblings). His most recent poetry collection, De contouren van het verstrijken (The contours of vanishing) was published in 2008.
Akker (Field), Lannoo, Tielt, 1982.
Uithoek (The Back of Beyond) , Poeziecentrum, Ghent, 1991.
Bloemlezing uit de poëzie van Roland Jooris (Selected works), Poeziecentrum, Ghent, 1997
Gekras (Scribblings), Querido, Amsterdam, 2001.
Als het dichtklapt (As it closes), Querido, Amsterdam, 2005.
De contouren van het verstrijken (The contours of vanishing), Querido, Amsterdam, 2008
Singular (Selected poetry in English), Poetry international: Poetry on the road, , p.89-91
Inerme (Selected poetry in Spanish), Alforja Arte y Literatura, 2008
Poetry prize from van De Vlaamse Gids (1976)
Jan Campert prize (1979)
Interprovincial Prize for Literature(1981)
Flemish Culture Prize for Poetry (2005)
VSB Poetry Prize (Nomination, 2006)
The works of Roland Jooris are published by Querido (in Dutch).
Roland Jooris on Lyrikline