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Flemish poet Peter Verhelst receives literature prize

The Flemish poet, novelist and theater maker Peter Verhelst will receive the Sybren Polet Prize this year, a new literary prize. The price is 35,000 euros.

The award is intended as the crowning of the entire oeuvre of authors who make experimental literary work in the spirit of the namesake, the poet and novelist Sybren Polet (1924-2015). It can be prose, poetry and theater.

The prize is an initiative of Polet and his wife, translator Cora Polet. The jury praised Verhelst as one of the most versatile Dutch-speaking authors and typified him as “a magical oeuvre builder”.

Verhelst (1962) made his debut in 1987 with the poetry collection Obsidian. Since 2006 he has been associated with the theater house NTGent as director and writer.

He already received several prizes, such as De Gouden Uil, the Flemish Culture Prize and the F. Bordewijk Prize for his novel Tongkat.

From now on the prize will be awarded every three years. This year the presentation will take place on 15 November in EYE in Amsterdam. With regard to prize money, the new award is one of the biggest prizes in the Dutch language area, after the Libris Literature Prize (65,000 euro), the P.C. Hooftprijs (60,000 euros) and the Book Spot Literature Prize (50,000 euros).

No writers can be nominated for the Sybren Polet Prize. The five-member jury (three permanent members, two alternating members) determines who is eligible.


Abdelkader Benali chairman Libris Prize

Former winner of the Libris Literature Prize Abdelkader Benali will chair the jury for the 25th Libris Literature Prize, which will be awarded in 2018.

He will announce on 7 May next year which novel will be the successor of Alfred Birney’s The Interpreter of Java, this year’s award-winning book.

The Libris Literature Prize is the prize for the best Dutch language novel of the past year with a prize money of 65,000 euros in total (2,500 euros for each of the six nominated authors and 50,000 euros for the winner). The winner will also receive a bronze medal, designed by Irma Boom.
Wedding by the sea

Benali, born in Morocco, was nominated for the prize for his debut wedding debut in 1997. He won the Libris Literature Prize in 2003 for The Long-awaited.

Benali will also be connected to TU Delft as a kind of ‘cultural professor’ for over two months next fall. With a group of a few dozen students, he wants to do research into the functions of squares and all the people and stories that go there, the TU announces.

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Murat Isik calls winning Libris Literature Prize ‘a sweet victory’

Murat Isik won the Libris Literature Prize 2018 with his book Wees Inzichtbaar (2017) and thinks that “a sweet victory”, says Isik in a Saturday interview with Het Parool.

“A sweet victory, on the bullies who called me a cleaner, on anyone who did not believe in me and wanted to push me down, in the first place the teachers, on the teacher who forced me to follow Dutch lessons without taking the trouble to See who I was “, he says to the newspaper.

“I discovered that she is still teaching, I am going to send her an e-mail and say,” Do you remember me? “I had to take you from Dutch tutoring and now I have won the Libris Literature Prize.”

Isik is curious how his teacher will respond to his message. “And I hope she will not underestimate students like me, because that is still a big problem in the Netherlands.”

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British writer and Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul (85) died

The British writer Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, better known as U.S. Naipaul, died at the age of 85 in his home in London.

His family announced that Saturday, British media reports.

Naipaul is considered one of the most important writers of travel literature in the English language. In the work of Naipaul, the search for its roots is central. Born in Trinidad, he lived in England since the 1950s and studied at the University of Oxford.

In 2001 Naipaul received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He received the prize because he unites ‘sharp discourses and an unwavering critical gaze into works that force us to see the presence of suppressed pasts’.

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