Astrid Lampe wins top literary prize for “unconventional” poetry

Photo: Koos Breukel via Singel Uitgeverij

Poet Astrid Lampe has been awarded one of the Netherlands’ most prestigious prizes, the P.C. Hooft-prijs, for her “remarkably unconventional and multifaceted” work.

Lampe, 67, made her debut in 1997 with “Rib” and has published 12 volumes of poetry altogether. She is also an actor and director and teaches at Rietveld Academy, an art school in Amsterdam.

In announcing the €60,000 prize for 2024, the jury praised her as “one of the most singular and generous poets of our time” and said she had “influenced the work of many young poets in the Dutch language region.”

De Groene Amsterdammer called her “The Netherlands’ most ominous linguistic free fighter”, while NRC labelled her work “hardcore skipping poetry”.

Lampe describes her own work, which covers themes such as digitalisation, climate change and gender relations, as energetic and activistic.

“I try to lure readers through ordinary, everyday situations to take poetry to their hearts and drag them into the poetic space,” she said.

The PC Hooft-prijs is awarded in rotation to a writer excelling in prose, poetry and essay writing. Last year it was won by the biologist and essayist Tijs Goldschmidt, while the year before it went to the novelist and journalist Arnon Grunberg.

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