CFP: English-language Perspectives on Flemish Culture (no deadline noted; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Lemelin
contact email: 

I am writing as an Associate Editor of Sirena, an international, =20
multilingual journal of poetry, art, and criticism. Our journal is =20
produced twice yearly by Dickinson College and is distributed by =20
Johns Hopkins University Press.

Within the next year we will be publishing a special edition of the =20
journal devoted to Flemish poetry, art, and culture. We have =20
received funding for this project from the Flemish Literary Fund for =20
the translation and publication of poems by Benno Barnard, Luuk =20
Gruwez, Stefan Hertmans, Roland Jooris, Leonard Nolens, Miriam Van =20
Hee and Stefaan Van den Bremt. I have included biographies of these =20
poets below

To complete our issue, we are looking for writings about Flemish =20
culture, art, music, and film, including essays on English-language =20
representations of and perspectives on Flemish culture and essays on =20
Flemish-American cultural intersections. The focus of the essay is =20
open: it may reflect in general on poetry, language, translation, =20
art, or culture, or it may comment on a particular poet or artist.

The length of the essay is not to exceed 6500 words and, in case =20
graphics or drawing created by a different author are included, they =20
must be accompanied by written permission to publish or reprint. The =20=
preferred format for scholarly articles is MLA, but please note that =20
while we welcome formal scholarly studies, our main interest resides =20
in essays where the idea is conveyed artistically and, consequently, =20
is pleasing to all readers interest in art and literature.

Please send submissions to:

Attn: Christopher Lemelin, Associate Editor
Dickinson College
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Carlisle, PA 17013

If you wish to submit works electronically, they must be attached to =20
an email message in one of the following formats: TXT (preferred), =20
WORD, or WORD PERFECT for essays; JPEG or TIF for art work.


Leonard Nolens

Leonard Nolens is a monumental figure in Flemish poetry. He made his =20
debut in 1969 with baroque poems. In the mid-Eighties his work became =20=

much more sober. His spellbinding style made way for a spoken-=20
language tone, but by no means steered clear of profound thought. The =20=

collection of poetry De gedroomde figuur (The Dreamt Figure, 1986), =20
was a major breakthrough and ringed in a period full of award-=20
winners. His most important work Liefdes verklaringen (Declarations =20
of Love, 1990) was awarded the Jan Campert-prize and The Belgian =20
State Prize for poetry.

  Nolens brilliantly addresses a number of classic themes, as if =20
haunted by them: parents, the questioning child, youth portraits, =20
farewell parties, city portraits, friends, loneliness, alcohol, God, =20
money, the dream woman, and dream book. Nolens=92 poems invariably =20
distinguish themselves through their polyphonic ways of thinking and =20
imaginary ways of acting. Each poem is a reasoning, each cycle a =20
solid yet explosive behavioural type. Since 1989 Nolens has published =20=

four volumes of a highly singular journal, in which the relationship =20
between poetry and identity is further fathomed. Nolens received the =20
Constantijn Huygens Prize for his oeuvre in 1997. In 2004 appeared =20
the fifth edition of his collected poems. In 2005 Nolens published =20
Een dichter in Antwerpen (A poet in Antwerp), his seventeenth =20
collection of poetry.

Benno Barnard

(Amsterdam, 1954) writes poetry, essays and essayistic novels. He =20
commenced his literary career back in the 1980=92s when he had three =20
collections of poetry published: Een engel van Rossetti (One of =20
Rosetti=92s angels, 1981), Klein Rozendaal (1982) and Het meer in mij =20=

(The lake within me, 1986). It has been said that these collections =20
manifest a cerebral romantic who travels between dream and reality, =20
the past and the present, here and yonder, nature and culture. They =20
generally consist of short, compressed texts, moulded into a perfect, =20=

regular shape and containing subtle plays with words and sounds. Over =20=

the years they tended to become more sober, which trend is =20
compensated by imagination: `It is true, because that is what it =20
appears like in my dreams.=92

  Nine years and two novels later, Barnard writes a different kind of =20=

poems. Obviously he has been influenced by classic English poets =20
(such as T.S. Eliot) during his stay in the USA

  The collection Tijdgenoten (Contemporaries, 1994) for example, is =20
comprised of long, related, epic and very anecdotic poems in which =20
centuries have been compressed into the one moment when these poems =20
were written. Barnard travels with us, tourists, to another time, so =20
that we can hear, see, smell and even feel what has happened in this =20
century. That way the events he thus describes become part of our =20
history. (Hanneke Klinkert in the Po=EBziekrant). Tijdgenoten marks an =20=

essential change in Barnard=92s poetry indeed. Not only are his poems =20=

lengthier, the specific gravity of nice sounding lines has decreased =20
- although his sound and wording remain esthetic. The emphasis is on =20
vulnerability rather than aesthetic shape, concludes Rob Schouten in =20
Vrij Nederland, although he adds that this process has only just =20
begun. His shift to longer, more telling poems is not caused by =20
whimsical mental leaps, but it is the logic development of a poet who =20=

tries to rid himself of some rather youthful virtuosity.

Miriam Van hee

Miriam Van hee debuted in 1978 with her poems about homesickness, =20
melancholy and loneliness. To her displeasure she was classified by =20
the critics as neoromantic, the predominant trend in Flemish poetry =20
at that time. Nevertheless, her poetry is not a flight from reality, =20
as Van hee does broach realistic subjects. Her style is also close to =20=

spoken language and appears, if anything, cautious. Falteringly, the =20
poetess attempts to come to terms with the world, while holding on to =20=

the familiar. The reader imagines himself safe in her world, an =20
illusion that is often suddenly dashed.

  Her sixth collection of poems, Achter de bergen (Behind the =20
Mountains, 1996) was awarded the Flemish Culture Prize for Poetry in =20
1998. That same year, her poems were collected in Het verband tussen =20
de dagen. Gedichten 1978-1996 (The link between the days : poems =20
1978-1996), from which a large selection has been translated into =20
French. This led the publication Magazine Litt=E9raire to name her =91the =
poetic discovery of the past few years=92. Her latest collection, De =20
bramenpluk (Blackberrying, 2002), includes poems about travel, =20
landscapes, animals, art and love. Van hee is also a slavist and has =20
translated works by authors such as Mandelstam and Achmatova.

Stefaan van den Bremt

Stefaan van den Bremt (Belgium) is a Flemish-speaking poet, =20
translator, and essayist. Born in 1941, in 1963 he graduated Masters =20=

of Arts (romance languages) from the University of Louvain. Between =20
his debut in 1968, van den Bremt published fifteen books of poetry, =20
most recently Stemmen uit het Laagland (Voices from the Marshland), =20
in 2001. He is the recipient of the Belgian National Prize for =20
Literary Translations in 1988. Among the writers he has translated =20
into Dutch are Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, Nicolas Guillen, Octavio =20=

Paz, Rene Vazquez Diaz, Jaime Sabines, Marie Gevers, Maurice =20
Maeterlinck, Emile Verhaeren and Marc Dugardin. He lives in Brussels.

Roland Jooris

Although Roland Jooris published a relatively small number of poetry =20
volumes over a period of forty years, they nevertheless succeeded in =20
earning his a substantial reputation. In the wake of postwar =20
experimentalism, in the late nineteen-fifties he published several =20
hermetic collections, which he later rejected. Only ten years later =20
did he =91debut=92 once more with poems in the vein of new realism, a =20=

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 =20
poetry and reality. In his later work, too, reality remains the point =20=

of departure, but the poet endeavours to distil it even further, =20
transforming it into a nucleus of calm, illusion and =20
spiritualisation. Jooris=92 poetry evolves along the way into more =20
stubborn terseness, into more language ascesis and calm. It is an =20
evolution from concrete visibility to more abstract contemplation, =20
from euphoria with regard to reality as poetry to the distillation of =20=

poetry as reality. His poetry is striking in its great expressive =20
power, in its pureness of line and speech. French poetry has been a =20
major influence in his work and he has a great admiration for the =20
writings of Andr=E9 Du Bouchet and Pierre Reverdy. Painting is a second =20=

inspiration for his work, much of which first saw the light of day in =20=

bibliophile collections, where his poetry was linked with images by =20
his favourite painters. In addition to being a poet, Jooris is also a =20=

renowned art critic and champion of the art of painting. He has =20
written essays on such painters as Raoul De Keyser, Eugene Leroy and =20
Roger Raveel. In daily life, Jooris used to be for a long time the =20
curator of the Roger Raveel museum. In 2005 Jooris won the =20
prestigious three annual Flemish Culture Prize for his collection =20
Gekras (Scribblings).

Stefan Hertmans

Stefan Hertmans is professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. He =20=

is considered one of the leading Dutch-language writers and poets of =20
the present. He has published novels, collections of short stories, =20
essays on literature and philosophy, theatre texts, and poetry. His =20
work is widely translated, amongst others in England, France, Germany =20=

and Spain.

  Hertmans has won several major literary prizes, such as the Belgian =20=

State prize for Muziek voor de overtocht (Music for the Crossing, =20
1994), a collection of five long poems on Paul Hindemith, Paul =20
Val=E9ry, Paul C=E9zanne, Vaslav Nijinsky and Wallace Stevens. The same =20=

collection was nominated the VSB poetry prize. The collection Goya =20
als Hond (Goya as a dog, 1999) was acclaimed a true summit in his =20
work and in Dutch and Flemish poetry of today. One of the poems won =20
the prize for the best poem of 1999. Most recently Hertmans published =20=

Kaneelvingers (Cinnamon Fingers, 2005), his twelfth collection of =20

Luuk Gruwez

Luuk Gruwez (b. 1953) made his debut in 1973 with the collection =20
Stofzuigergedichten (Vacuum Cleaner Poetry) in 1973. Several =20
collections of poems have been published since. With fellow-author =20
Eriek Verpale he compiled the collections of letters and stories =20
Onder vier ogen (In Private) and Siamees dagboek (Siamese Diary). His =20=

poetic style is often described as sensual and earthly. The =20
collection Dikke mensen (Fat People, 1990) is an ode to men=92s =20
vulnerability and weakness; for Vuile manieren (Filthy Manners, 1995) =20=

he was awarded the Hugues C. Pernath Prize. In 1995, he received the =20
Geertjan Lubberhuizen Award for his moving compilation of stories, =20
memories and portraits Het bal van opa Bing (Grandpa Bing=92s Ball). =20
Its seven chapters demonstrate his skills as a pitiless and yet =20
loving portraitist. He presents his readers with a colourful variety =20
of real or imaginary characters who have influenced his evolution =20
from poet to prose writer and storyteller.

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 22:00:56 EDT