A new poet in town

Anna Enquist becomes Amsterdam poet laureate

Anna Enquist Amsterdam poet laureate
© Jean-Pierre Jans.

Anna Enquist (Netherlands, 1945) has succeeded Menno Wigman as Amsterdam’s Poet Laureate. Announced last night during the Gedichtenbal (Poetry Ball), an annual event to celebrate the end of National Week of Poetry in the Netherlands, Enquist will be the first woman ever to hold the position.

As the city’s ‘poet in residence’ Enquist will write on current events and attempt to bring poetry closer to the city’s population. Her most recent collection Een kooi van klank (A Cage of Sound) was published in 2013 to mark the start of that year’s Week of Poetry. The poems from this collection can be found on this website, accompanied by English translations and readings by Enquist herself.
In honour of her appointment her first poem for the city was read at the Gedichtenbal and published in the NRC this morning. Over the next two years Enquist will be expected to write a number of poems for the city, including one ‘Eenzame Uitvaart’. This tradition, in which the city’s poet laureate writes on the lonely death of a stranger, was established by former Amsterdam poet laureate F. Starik.
Trained as a pianist and psychologist, the Amsterdam-born writer was a late starter when it comes to poetry. Her first poems were published in the magazine Maatstaf in 1988, and her first published collection followed in 1991 (Soldatenliederen, De Arbeidspers). Since then Enquist has published another six collections of poetry and two novels.

© Sanna McGregor  
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