Four finalists have been selected for the 27th edition of the C. Buddingh’ Prize, the annual award for the best first collection written in the Dutch language. This year’s nominees are Mathijs Gomperts, Jonathan Griffioen, Sebastiene Postma and Marieke Rijneveld.
The jury, consisting of poets Joke van Leeuwen and Nachoem Wijnberg, and Arjan Peters, critic and editor of the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, read and considered 21 collections submitted by various publishers across the Netherlands and Belgium. The winner of the C. Buddingh’ Prize 2016 will be announced on Thursday, 9 June 2016, during the 46th Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam.
According to the jury, many of this year's submissions stay remarkably close to home in subject matter. The jury regreted that, often, personal memories or emotions are developed into poems, while lacking in experimentation with form or musicality.
This rather grim outlook on young Dutch poetry does not, however, apply to the poetry of the four nominated debutants, who, through their choice of subject matter, form or a combination of the two, manage to distance themselves from – what the jury views as – their peers' pervasive timidity.
The C. Buddingh' Prize finalists are, in alphabetical order:
Zes (Six) by Mathijs Gomperts
Mathijs Gomperts (1988), born and raised in Amsterdam, is a poet and a wrestler. After living in Paris, Berlin and New York, he returned to his hometown to pursue a degree in philosophy. He graduated from the University of Amsterdam, after studying the 'philosophy of literature'.
Wijk (Neighborhood) by Jonathan Griffioen
Jonathan Griffioen (1987) was a Write Now! finalist in 2012 and a semifinalist of the NK Poetry Slam in 2015. His poems have been published in, among other journals, De Optimist and De Contrabas.
Trappen (Stairs) by Sebastiene Postma
Sebastiene Postma (1957) studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and then went on to become a project leader at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the same university. Her poems have been published in, among others, Tirade, Het Liegend Konijn and De Gids.
Kalfsvlies (Calf's fleece) by Marieke Rijneveld
Marieke Rijneveld (1991) is a writer, musician and poet. She has won several writing contests and is a writer/editor for Das Magazin, De Revisor, hard/hoofd, VPRO Gids, Het Liegend Konijn, Hollands Maandblad and other magazines.