Poet K. Schippers wrote this year’s ‘poetry gift’ for the 2014 National Poetry Week in the Netherlands and Flanders, which opens on 30 January with Poetry Day. Whenever someone buys a book of poetry worth €12,50 or more during this week, they will receive Schippers’ collection ‘Buiten beeld’ (Off-Screen) as a free gift. This tradition was first started in 2013, and poetry sales tripled during that week.
On the evening before the start of Poetry Week the 20th edition of the VSB Poetry Prize will be awarded, as will the Herman de Coninck Prize in Flanders. Poetry Week ends in poetic style on 5 February with a national Poetry Ball and the presentation of the Turing Poetry Contest.
The theme of this year's Poetry Day and Poetry Week is 'Wonder'. Everything begins with wonder: a child's first words, great love, the exploration of the as-yet-undiscovered. Those who open themselves up and look at the world will be surprised. There are many wonderful things to see, and many surprising things to experience. This is what poetry is all about. Poetry has the power to unexpectedly surprise you with the other side of things.