Kate Schlingemann

Kate Schlingemann is a poet, children’s book author and illustrator. In 2000 she published her first picturebooks (Luister, 2000-2005). Following these she wrote a collection of shortstories, Spindingen. On commission she wrote and illustrated the book series Pietje en Rozijntje. Her first poems for children were published in Querido’s Poëziespektakel 4 and 5, followed by her debut poetry collection Wondermiddel (Xanten, 2016). Many of her poems have been collected in various anthologies and literary magazines, both in Dutch and Frisian (It leafst bin ik in fûgel, Afûk, 2018).

From the beginning of 2016 Kate has been involved as a poet and editor with the poetry magazine Dichter. by Plint; and recently she’s become part of the editorial board of RIXT (rixt.frl).

Recurring themes in her work are ‘home, where/when are you at home’ and ‘estrangement/wonder’ with language as a ferry between coast and the dot on the horizon.

Awards:

  • Second prize for the poem ‘Bemoeizorg’ in the Turing National Poetry Competition 2012.
  • Second prize for the poem ‘Weet ik veel’ from Wondermiddel in the Flemish Jotie T’hooft Poetry Prize.

For her poem ‘Het begin van de regenworm’ (translated below) she got a 10 out of 10 from jury member Ellen Deckwitz of the Willem Wilmink Poetry Competition in 2016, and second prize.


the beginning of the earthworm

what are we to do
with all those birds
except steal their trick
of hanging in the air

with all those birds
snatch up a chip
hanging in the air
above outdoor café tables

snatch up a chip
fish fried fillets of haddock
above outdoor café tables
or draw worms from the grass

fish fried fillets of haddock
often in packed ponds
or draw worms from the grass
how we fit into pigeon-holes

often in packed ponds
maintain balance on flagpoles
how we fit into pigeon-holes
where the earthworm begins

maintain balance on flagpoles
that we learn from all birds
where the earthworm begins
but never know this for certain

that we learn from all birds
except steal their trick
but never know this for certain
what are we to do

©  Kate Schlingemann