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Peter Verhelst

Peter Verhelst - foto Tineke de Lange
Peter Verhelst - foto Tineke de Lange

(Belgium, 1962) is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright. Since 2006 he has worked with NTGent as a director. Verhelst debuted in 1987 with the poetry collection Obsidiaan (Obsidian). His first novel Vloeibaar harnas (Liquid Armour) followed in 1993. His breakthrough came with Tongkat in 1999. Verhelst frequently refers to other writings, (visual) art, and realities. He is often considered an aesthete because of his poetic use of language. Zwerm: geschiedenis van de wereld (Swarm: The history of the world) from 2005 marked a turning point. In it, he referred to current issues and quoted movies and modern music. Exuberant metaphor was replaced by sober expression. His latest novel Geschiedenis van een berg (History of a Mountain, 2013), which features a gorilla as a main character, combines both styles; Verhelst is simultaneously fantastical and socially critical. His latest volume of poetry Wij totale vlam (Us Total Blaze, 2014) is nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize. In this collection people return from the moon, or they see birds dive into a lake and write words on the underside of the water's surface.

(WU 15 GR)

Archive available for: Peter Verhelst

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Ode to Remco's Coat

    The spotlight shines on the poetry of Remco Campert in this festive programme. Portuguese fado singer Cristina Branco set Campert's Ode aan mijn jas (Ode to My Coat) to music especially for this event. She is accompanied by João Paulo. Mustafa Stitou, Hanneke van Eijken, and three poets nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize—Hester Knibbe, Alfred Schaffer, and Peter Verhelst—each dedicate a poem to Remco or write a poem inspired by his poetry. The Blue Moon choir concludes the programme with a song about a passage from Het leven is verrukkulluk (Life is Delightful). Hosted by Alma Mathijsen. A collaboration with Poetry International and the VSB Poetry Prize. In Dutch.