Jan Baeke

Jan Baeke is a poet, translator, editor and curator, with nine poetry collections to his name. His fourth collection Groter dan de feiten (Bigger than the facts), published in 2007, was nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize, the most prestigious poetry award in the Netherlands. His latest collection, Seizoensroddel (Seasonal Gossip), was awarded the Jan Campert Prize 2017 for best poetry collection. Translations of his work have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. Jan has translated works by Liz Lochhead, Lavinia Greenlaw, Deryn Rees-Jones, e.e. cummings, Norbert Hummelt, Russell Edson, Jack Spicer and Derek Walcott. Bigger than the Facts, the English translation of Groter dan de feiten, is appearing with Arc in 2020. Alongside media artist Alfred Marseille, he produces digital poems, data poems, poetry films and poetic installations under the name Public Thought. He is currently the festival programmer for Poetry International in Rotterdam.

View Jan's page at Poetry International here.

 

Photo: Keke Keukelaar

Events

Border Crossings »

Reading: Hanan Issa, Jan Baeke

Fri 6 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.50/£3.50 | Parliament Hall, South Street

Poem

From The Dogs

No one who sees
that the dog turns round, walks back
lurks in the tail end of a shop
waits till someone has a spare hand
an unused one, just one, to give the muscles some rest
a warm hand especially.

No one who asks themselves
what’s striking about a man who can’t be heard.
His voice is different, his eyes take on the colour
of the wall he stands against, his body holds
a jumbled skeleton together.

He can’t be heard.
The dog has nothing to do with this.
It means nothing to anyone
that I recognize the colours.

Green for the pine trees, red for the underwear
black for this sweetie who smokes like hell
and burns like hell and parties
wherever the lads have dragged me to.

My dialect didn’t make it.
The usual rubbish in my car: roads
traces of the dog, the body
that I feed with my own arms and legs.

A man gratefully joins in the meal.
The others sneakily peek through the windows
spew themselves out.

 

Jan Baeke, tr. Antoinette Fawcett

Forthcoming in Bigger than the Facts (Arc, 2020)