notes on dutch literature

What Water Left Behind

In Books that need to be reprinted, More poetry please on November 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Rutger Kopland

The poet Rutger Kopland (1934-2012) made his debut in 1966 and has published over fifteen volumes of poetry, three essay collections and a collection of travel and translation notes. He has won numerous prizes for his poetry, including the prestigious VSB Poetry Prize 1998 and the P.C. Hooft Prize 1988, one of the Dutch-speaking world’s most important literary awards. Kopland ranks high as one of the Netherlands’ best-loved poets. He speaks to his readers in a quiet, conversational style, using ostensibly simple phrases.

In 1996, Vintage Books of New York used five Koplands in its anthology, The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, making Kopland “a world poet”. A collection of his work was published in the USA as early as 1977, in a translation by Ria Leigh-Loohuizen: An Empty Place to Stay and other selected poems.

Other published collections of Kopland’s poetry:

A World Beyond Myself, selected poems was published by Enitharmon in 1991 translated from the Dutch by James Brockway

Memoirs of the Unknownpublished by Harvill Press in 2001. A bilingual edition with a collection of 55 poems, introduced by J.M. Coetzee and translated by James Brockway.

Paul Binding wrote in the Times Literary Supplement (2002) “[A] fine selection….Brockway devoted himself to the translation and prorogation of Dutch writers, counting Kopland, as the love and care that inform these translations attest, among the very best of them.”

J.M. Coetzee selected Kopland for his anthology Landscape with Rowers; Poetry from the Netherlands (Princeton University Press 2004)

What Water Left Behind, a collection of 40 poems published by Waxwing Poems in 2005. The collection contains new translations and unpublished translations by the late James Brockway which have been edited by Willem GroenewegenWhat Water Left Behind was shortlisted for the 2007 Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation.

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