Elmar Kuiper

Photo: Piet Douma

Elmar Kuiper writes, draws, paints and films. His work has been nominated for the Fedde Schurer prize (Hertbyt, 2004), the Buddingh prize (Hechtzwaluwen, 2010), the JC Bloem prize (Ruimtedier, 2016) and was on the shortlist for the Piter Jelles prize (Hiemsiik, 2015). He has won a Rely Jorritsma prize four times. In 2017 his German poetry book was released: Da scharwenzeln spottvögel mit der schwerkraft, translated by Stefan Wieczorek, by publisher Edition Virgines, Düsseldorf. It is an anthology of sixty poems, selected from the six regular volumes that have been published up to now. In 2018 his intimate collection Stienkeal will be published: the foetus which died in the womb of his mother will develop in the hands of Elmar Kuiper.

About Hiemsiik: ‘Like a dog Kuiper licks open wounds. Caringly and soothingly he wants to ease reality’ (Geart Tigchelaar, Ensafh); ‘It’s above all the consistent, ironclad style which makes Hiemsiik into a homerun’ (Abe de Vries, FD); ‘What an honest and complete poetry book’ (Eppie Dam, LC).

Submitted poems
14th of June
What the man from department E entrusted me, II and XVII
Mother Ganges


I saw him on the top floor of a white store
he stocked mourning and asked a high price for grief

I shadowed him in the late light
in a dim gleam I saw his ashen silhouette
he was licking the paws of an animal

gravely and determined he crept inside the night forest
the wailing tore through the old pines
my knees were trembling

I approached the sound
and opened my eyes wide
in front of me stood a humanwolf

he wanted to trade his gray fur for a red costume
pine needles stuck like thumbtacks
in the skin of the poor beast

I saw him on the bottom floor of a black store
he cried: help me dear sir!

I squeezed my eyes shut
and saw how Death
portrayed him

© Elmar Kuiper
Stienkeal (Bornmeer, 2018)
Translation: Sanne Greijdanus