Wednesday, March 13, 2013

new from above/ground press: Two Dutch Poets: Hélène Gelèns and Erik Lindner

Two Dutch Poets: Hélène Gelèns and Erik Lindner
translation by Anita Dolman

how above everything II

do we hang out the window? we murmur: stop
not under the tree. there’s glass hanging there. don’t walk
beneath the tree. a champagne glass spins
on a ribbon. it sing. it’s going to fall. sir
stop. it’ll fall. go back. a glass in the tree.
it will fall. the ribbon is fraying. ma’am
do we turn to barmaid watchman officer?
we sketch: the storm the tree the glass on the ribbon
the grime-bleached ribbon the tatters the glass the glass
we holler: you’ve got to do something! now! the tatters
the swaying the crunching black and blacker the sky
now! it has to be now! the singing the falling – do something!

do we storm onto the square? do we wave our arms wildly?
we scream away! away from the tree! we point upwards
glass! we chase the businessman zigzag zigzag away
a cyclist a stray kid a map-reading couple away!
beer-drinker caller tourist away! we bump we shove
we drag the guffawing teen zigzagzigzag away

shall we keep doing what we’re doing? formulating arguments
shall we look for support in lines within our sight we find
the branch the tight ribbon we ignore the head-hung glass
we have our mind-bruising conversation we follow the line
obliquely up along the branch down along the ribbon (to the stem
of the glass) and still: up the branchline down the ribbonline
and back again: branchline ribbonline ribbonline branchline and on
branchline ribbonline (jump) branchline ribbonline (jump)
                                    (Hélène Gelèns)

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
for the third annual VERSeFest, March 12-17, 2013
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Hélène Gelèns is a writer of poetry, essays and prose. Her debut niet beginnen bij het hoofd (2006) was shortlisted for the C. Buddingh’ Prize for New Dutch Poetry and her second collection of poetry zet af en zweef (2010) was awarded the prestigious Jan Campert Prize. A third collection will be published spring 2013. Gelèns’s poetry has been translated in English, German, Spanish, Polish and Albanian. English translations appeared in literary Magazines in the UK (Ambit (2009), Poetry London (2011), The North (2010)), and the USA (Interim (2009), Pleiades (2012), Sampsonia Way (2012)). Gelèns lives in Amsterdam and Antwerp.

Long considered one of the most outstanding poets of his generation, Erik Lindner advocates spreading poetry using all available means and media, and does so not only in his own homeland, but abroad as well. He regularly publishes his poems in renowned international literary magazines such as Poetry Review (England), Manuskripte (Austria), Interim (USA), Action poétique (France), and Luvina (Mexico), which has even led to translations of his work into Chinese and Macedonian. Aside from his own volumes of poetry – Tramontane (1996), Tong en trede (Tongue and Step, 2000), Tafel (Table, 2004), and Terrein (Terrain, 2010) – and a book on the art of poetry published in 2009, Erik Lindner published a French anthology with contemporary Dutch poetry, Le verre est un liquide lent (Glass is a Lazy Liquid, 2003), presenting 33 of his poetry colleagues.

[Hélène Gelèns and Erik Lindner perform at Ottawa’s VERSeFest on Sunday, March 17 at 8pm]  

Anita Dolman’s poetry and/or postcard fiction has appeared in journals, websites and magazines throughout Canada and the United States, including The Antigonish Review, Ottawater, Geist, The Storyteller Magazine, PRISM international, Utne, The Fiddlehead and Grain, and in the anthology Decalogue: ten Ottawa poets (Chaudiere Books, Ottawa, 2006).

All three also have new work in the new issue of The Peter F. Yacht Club.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

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