May 2021

Edwin de Groot was the RIXT poet of the  month May 2021. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Tariff and exchange rate’ – is published here.

Photo: Edwin de Groot
 Tariff and exchange rate
 cholera, messenger of misery
 struck one down when so fated
 even a child that bit the dust
 there’s always some sin to be found
 a new foundation can simply break
 as it sets and now we’re due for the collection 
 each covid month just as cruel
 today’s shepherd on slippery shoes
 says it’s safer than eating hot dogs
 a jab is child’s play, wards off ruin
 sprightly and elated once more on a school trip
 bringing tasty sandwiches with young cheese and confession

© Edwin de Groot
Translation: Trevor Scarse

Frisian and Danish poets present an anthology at LiteratureXchange in Aarhus

The Frisian poets Cornelis van der Wal, Elmar Kuiper, Syds Wiersma and Geart Tigchelaar will present in collaboration with the Danish poets Peter Laugesen, Carsten René Nielsen, Annemette Kure Andersen, Thomas Dalgaard and Mads Mygind their bilingual anthology Oar hûs / Et andet hus (Another house) at the international literature festival LiteratureXchange in Aarhus. The anthology is published by Hispel.

In 2019 the four Frisian poets went to Aarhus for a week to meet up with their Danish colleagues and perform a show. This led to a collaboration with the five Danish poets. They translated each other’s work for the anthology, four poems for each poet. The project is illustrated with photographs made by Geart Tigchelaar.

‘Another house can feel like coming home in another place,’ so states the foreword of the collection. And that was precisely how the Frisian poets felt in the second largest city of Denmark. And to honour that other house poetically they’ve made this anthology.

In June the third edition of the literature festival LiteratureXchange will be held in Aarhus. The festival will last for eleven days with many international writers who will give more than 180 performances, masterclasses, readings, etc. The presentation of the anthology Oar hûs / Et andet hus is held on 16 June.

The Frisian poets Syds Wiersma, Elmar Kuiper, Geart Tigchelaar and Cornelis van der Wal will present their new anthology at the LiteratureXchange festival in Aarhus.
The Frisian poets Syds Wiersma, Elmar Kuiper, Geart Tigchelaar and Cornelis van der Wal

Cornelis van der Wal to the international poetry festival Transpoesie

In September the eleventh edition of the Transpoesie Poetry Festival will be held in Brussel. Cornelis van der Wal will represent Fryslân this year, following in the footsteps of Janneke Spoelstra (2018), Elmar Kuiper (2019) and Nyk de Vries (2020). Cornelis van der Wal shall give a performance on 26 September, the European Day of Languages.

A jury consisting of Alex Riemersma (advisor language policy at Provinsje Fryslân and lector at NHL Stenden), Janneke Spoelstra (Fryske Akademy) and Ammerins Moss-de Boer (it Skriuwersboun) selected the poem of Cornelis van der Wal, ‘Snow is an act of resistance’, out of the six entries. His submission was characterised by the jury as a melodic poem that expressed the theme in a topical and expressive manner. It describes the loneliness, coldness yet necessity of resistance and protest with words that provoke all your senses and reveal new ideas to ponder about every time you read it.

Cornelis van der Wal (Ljouwert, 28 Januari 1956) is a Frisian writer and poet. Hy has published seven poetry collections. He won the Fedde Schurerprize with his first collection In nêst jonge magneten in 1993. In 2019 six of his poems were translated and published in the renowned Danish magazine Hvedekorn.

April 2021

Sigrid Kingma was the RIXT poet of the month February 2021. You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Brass hats’ – is published here.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar
 Brass hats
 He won’t hang up
 streamers for himself
 celebrates survivals
 with drawn blinds
 and closed doors
 sensitised friends
 saved pocket money at the bank
 for a new bicycle
 Spoiled brat that
 fights fumigation
 looks for soft words
 to lie with
 or confesses smirking
 that he forgot
 who buttered his bread
 only yesterday
 Still, crystal clear
 is the memory
 that it was treacle that
 spilled on the paperwork
 the sticky fingers 
 licked clean in the echo
 of the whistle blow

© Sigrid Kingma
Translation: Trevor Scarse