Luuk Gruwez
(Belgium, 1953)   
Nederlands ►
Luuk Gruwez

Luuk Gruwez debuted in 1973 at a young age with the collection of poems, Stofzuigergedichten (Vacuum Cleaner Poems), sonorous, lively poems striking in their oral character. He is, in fact, more of a singer than an artist. Gruwez' work does not shy away from heavy emotions. His poetry is a plea for sensuality, daring to be different, for emotional courage, for lyricism. Beauty is a compensation for deprivation, a haven of rest, tenderness and harmony. He attempts to reconcile eternity and time in the paradox of language.

Along with other poets, such as Miriam Van hee, he is considered one of the major representatives of New Romanticism, a literary trend that injected new life into Flemish poetry in the late nineteen-seventies. In diametric opposition to the experimental art of poetry of the preceding years, poetry was written about love, death and human failings. About his earlier work, he has this to say: “When I started out as a poet, I was a dandy, often writing about myself. It was a narcissistic me, typical of every self-respecting poet. Slowly, that me developed into a more universal we.” 

His most recent collection of poetry Lagerwal (Lee shore) was generally acclaimed a true summit by poetry critics and won the Herman De Coninck Readers Prize. In 2009, Gruwez attracted a lot of media attention with the publication of National Poetry Day Essay Pizza Peperkoek en andere geheimen (Pizza Gingerbread and other secrets). 

Hugo Brems on the works of Luuk Gruwez

© Tom van de Voorde (en) / Correen Dekker (nl)

Selected Bibliography
Stofzuigergedichten (Vacuum Cleaner Poems), Desclée De Brouwer, Bruges, 1973
Ach, wat zacht geliefkoos om een mild verdriet (Oh, Such a Soft Caress because of a Mild Sadness), Orion, Bruges, 1977
Een huis om dakloos in te zijn (A House to be Homeless in), Manteau, Antwerp, 1981
De feestelijke verliezer (The Festive Loser), Manteau, Antwerp, 1985
Dikke mensen (Fat People), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 1990
Vuile manieren (Bad Manners), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 1994
Dieven en geliefden (Thieves and Lovers), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 2000
Allemansgek (Everyman fool), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 2004
Lagerwal (Lee shore), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 2008

Bandelose gedigte (Afrikaans), Praag uitgevers, Dainfern, 2006
Poems (English), The Southern review, vol.28 (1992) nr.2, p.329-332
Pliant. Selected poetry (English), Paris/Atlantic, an international magazine of poetry, nr.2 (1983), p.58
Poèmes dissolus (French), Le Castor Astral, Bordeaux, 2005
Gedichte (selection, German), Krautgarten, jrg.10, nr.19 (november 1991)
Más allá de mis manos (Spanish), Colibri, Mexico, 2006 

Literary Prizes
Geertjan Lubberhuizen-prize for the best prose debut (1994)
Herman de Coninck Readers’ Prize (2009) 

Audiofiles of Luuk Gruwez reading his poems, including several translations (in French and German)

A website dedicated to the life and works of Luuk Gruwez (in Dutch, English and French)

Information about Luuk Gruwez on the Digital Library of Dutch Literature (in Dutch)



Subscribe to the newsletter

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us internationaal  

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow our activities in the Netherlands