The winners of four important Hague Literature Awards were announced in the radio program Kunststof. These prizes will be awarded on February 12, 2023 to Marion Bloem, Dominique De Groen, Donald Niedekker and Marjan Slob. The Museum of Literature organizes the awarding and presentation of the prizes.
Marion Bloem (1952) receives the 2022 Constantijn Huygens-Prize for her entire oeuvre: novels, stories and poems. No one suspected what would follow Geen gewoon Indisch meisje (No ordinary Indisch girl) from 1983, a book that is cherished by many. Bloem's productivity, not only as a writer, is overwhelming. Not only the recent and monumental Indo from 2020, which everyone who is interested in the theme of identity should read, is personal, original, compelling and written from a great social commitment. From the first book this applies to Bloems entire oeuvre.
Dominique De Groen (1991) is awarded the 2022 Jan Campert-Prize for her poetry book Slangen (Snakes). Since her debut book Shop Girl (2017), Dominique De Groen's voice has reverberated loud and clear in Dutch poetry. And that we have every reason to listen to that voice, her fourth book Slangen. Climate, inequality and numbing capitalism deserve our attention. Because the landscape has long ceased to cry tears, but flames. Do we, humans, still live in our biotope or are we gradually living in a nightmare? The snake molts and begins a rebirth. Dominique De Groen observes like a hawk.
Donald Niedekker (1963) has been awarded the 2022 F. Bordewijk-Prize for his novel Waarachtige beschrijvingen uit de permafrost (True descriptions from the permafrost). This poetic novel is unique in Dutch literature. Niedekker gives the floor to a poetic seafarer whose spirit escapes from the melting permafrost after centuries. The result is a thrilling ode to language and history, which at the same time sheds a refined light on the times in which we live. A novel to freeze you in.
The above prizes are awarded annually. Marjan Slob (1964) receives the biennial J. Greshoff-Prize 2022 for Essays, for her book De lege hemel (The Empty Heaven). About loneliness. With this essay she wrote a lively and erudite essay on one of the great issues of our time: loneliness. She draws from a rich arsenal of scientific, philosophical and literary texts, from popular culture and from her own experiences. De lege hemel is a powerful plea for a better understanding of what loneliness is: not just a negative state of mind, but also a deeply human capacity, a talent, 'a biotope of creativity'.
An amount of € 12,000 is associated with the Constantijn Huygens-Prize. The other prizes are €6,000. The jury members included: Jeroen Dera, Rashif El Kaoui, Aad Meinderts (chairman), Sanne Parlevliet, Jan de Roder, Mathijs Sanders, Jeannette Smit and Sarah Vankersschaever.
The festive ceremony is organized by the Museum of Literature and will take place during the international literature festival Writers Unlimited / Winternachten on Sunday afternoon, February 12, 2023, in theater on the Spui in The Hague. The prizes are awarded by Saskia Bruines, alderman for Finance, Culture and Economy in The Hague.
About the Jan Campert Foundation
The prizes were awarded by the Jan Campert Foundation, established on August 18, 1947 and named after the poet Jan Campert, who lived in The Hague for a long time and wrote the most famous resistance poem, ‘De achttien dooden’ (The eighteen deaths). Initially, the foundation was created ‘to permanently commemorate the struggle of Dutch men of letters in the years 1940-1945 against the German occupation’. The aim was later formulated in a more general way: the Jan Campert Foundation promotes Dutch literature. What has remained of the original resistance movement is a certain predilection for idiosyncratic poets and writers who strive for a certain creative freedom and who do not necessarily feature on bestsellers lists. By annually awarding the Hague literature prizes, the foundation contributes to public recognition and greater awareness of literary work that is considered important. The foundation is financed by the Municipality of The Hague. The secretariat of the Jan Campert Foundation and the organization of the award ceremony are housed at the Museum of Literature.