Rozalie Hirs

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Lecture on further particulars and music, interactivity

→ Nederlands

On 15 January 2020 from 12:30 until 14:30 CET Rozalie Hirs presents a lecture on her poetry book verdere bijzonderheden (further particulars; Amsterdam: Querido| Singel Uitgeverijen, 2017) and music and/or digital, interactive applications. The lecture is interlaced with a poetry reading by Rozalie and followed by a discussion with the students.

The event concludes an intensive on contemporary poetry taught by Corina Breukink-Prosper at the University of Utrecht (Teachers College), The Netherlands.


Lecture at Pratt Institute, New York

On 19 November 2019 from 14:00-15:50 EST Rozalie Hirs gives at talk to the Creative Writing class of professor Christian Hawkey at Pratt Institute, New York. Topics include the influence and the use of multilingualism, music, and digital media in her writing. And the influence of poetry on her music.

Rozalie reads poems from gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017), verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam, Singel uitgeverijen|Querido, 2017), gestamelde werken (Amsterdam, Querido, 2012), Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam, Querido, 2008). She then shows and talks about arbre genéalogique (2011), Geluksbrenger online (design, programming: Harm van den Dorpel; 2010), Zichtboek van gestamelde werken (design, programming: Cox & Grusenmeyer; 2013), Curvices (spatial design: M3H architecten; programming: Yvan vander Sanden; design: Cox & Grusenmeyer; 2013), In LA (2003; English version, 2010), and Bridge of Babel (2009).


dreams of airs (2017-18)


1. Summary
2. Program notes
3. In the press
4. Interview
5. Technical details
6. Performances


Dreams of Airs (2017-18) is a cycle of poetry and music by Rozalie Hirs. Its sound world features eight musicians, a singer who speaks, and electronic sounds. The visual artists Boris Tellegen and Geert Jan Mulder designed a live video installation for the performance. The duration of the performance is around 60 minutes.

Thanks to the Netherlands Performing Arts Fund and the Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industry for financial support. Thanks to MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Maison Dora Maar for their generous and indispensable residencies and fellowships. With special thanks to Johan Reyniers (dramaturgical advice) and Martín Mayo (amanuensis).

Rozalie Hirs – music (score, electronic sounds), poetry
Boris Tellegen, Geert Jan Mulder – moving image

Program notes

dreams of airs: the longing of language – spoken word, binaural beats, brain waves, mirror neurons

The new full-length composition dreams of airs (2017-18) by the Netherlands-based composer/ poet Rozalie Hirs offers a unique listening experience. The listener is guided through mesmerizing accelerandos and rallentandos in a lounge-like environment. The combination of spoken word, music, and visuals serves to stimulate various senses at once. The audience is seated around the room, as are the musicians, to ensure unencumbered interaction. This intimate concert setting can also be regarded as a visual installation, including moving images by Boris Tellegen and Geert Jan Mulder.

Spoken word is the bedrock of Rozalie Hirs’ new cycle dreams of airs (2017-18). The completed work will fully integrate music and poetry in various forms. The text is at times a conveyor of meaning, at times it serves as pure sound poetry. The instruments emulate the speaking voice. First they shadow it, to then take up an autonomous role in constant dialogue with each other and with the voice. The composer-poet has performed her own poetry since 1991 and has developed an inimitable elocution style down the years. Hirs refers to the underlying, intrinsically musical, structure of language as the longing of language. In the poetry cycle long at present longing in her fifth poetry book gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) Hirs uncovers this phenomenon through Markov chain analysis, a mathematical statistical model revealing the underlying patterns within any structure.

Like the musicians, the listeners are seated around the room so they can more easily relate to the players and their physical gestures via the process of automatic imitation; a staple of everyday communication due to the mirror neurons that are constantly firing in our brains. This phenomenon, which we associate with empathy, reinforces the notion of the listeners that they understand the music and words ‘from within’. The moving images provide an additional visual connection between performers and audience.

Everyone has two ears but only a few people are aware of the fascinating universe hidden behind those auditory canals. For example, binaural beats are created when our left and right ears simultaneously hear two specific tones that differ only slightly in frequency, causing the brain to generate an illusory pulse. Specific frequencies produce brainwaves that match certain mental states such as waking, sleeping, focusing, learning, dreaming or meditation. Rozalie Hirs’ new work activates binaural beats that correspond to patterns that we associate with, for example, lucid dreaming and creativity. The binaural beatings create flow and help listeners to be in the moment. A plethora of binaural beats to which many beneficial characteristics are attributed can be found online. Binaural beats are known to aid sleep and increase one’s energy, motivation, and IQ. Come, listen, and experience for yourself what it does to you!

©2017 Rozalie Hirs

In the press

And also here Nora Fischer takes the audience by the hand along the colourful words drawn out by Rozalie Hirs, reinforced with binaural beatings. With these beatings Rozalie Hirs seeks to evoke brain waves that bring us into a meditative state. She must be doing a pretty good job, because I have rarely encountered such a breathlessly listening audience.
Ronald Rijken: Rozalie Hirs’ klankwereld van de binaural beats, Klankgat online, 12 november 2018.

Dreams of Airs is a complex piece of art, and very beautifully performed. In addition, it is also highly effective, for me any case. I feel clear and very energized.
Ronald Rijken: Rozalie Hirs’ klankwereld van de binaural beats, Klankgat online, 12 november 2018.


A song it no longer poetry, it is music
Thea Derks

Rozalie Hirs (1965) is multi-talented. She has made a name for herself as a poet and as a composer. For her cycle dreams of airs she wrote the poems as well as the instrumental and electronic music. The cycle is inspired by the physical phenomenon of binaural beating: when your left and right ears are offered two almost identical tones, your brain creates a third (phantom) tone that consists of the difference in frequency between the two. When the frequency differences are small enough, the resulting tone, perceived as a beating, may evoke different moods and states of mind. Dreams of Airs was premiered in November Music, Den Bosch, The Netherlands, in 2018, and will be again performed in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, on Sunday 6 January 2019.

Hirs was born in Gouda and studied chemical engineering at the University of Twente and composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, with, among others, Louis Andriessen. In New York she continued her studies with the French spectralist Tristan Murail at Columbia University. In 2007 she obtained her ‘Doctor of Musical Arts’ title (DMA) with a dissertation on spectral composition techniques and the composition Platonic ID.

She has written six Dutch collections of poems, all published by the Dutch renowned publisher Singeluitgeverijen|Querido, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She also writes in English and German, and in 2017 her multilingual collection gestammelte werke was published by the German KOOKbooks, Berlin. Her poetry and music are both lyrical and innovative. She often combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds and collaborates with visual artists and graphic designers. Though Hirs regularly performs her own poems, whether or not embedded in music, dreams of airs is her first concert-length poetry and music cycle.

Where does the title come from? What does it mean?

The working title for the cycle was dreams of breathing, because breath, and air for that matter, are at the very basis of our existence and communication, our voice’s uttering of words. Air is also the archaic English word for song or melody, so the title also means ‘dreams of melodies’. For me, this alludes to melodies of speech, including the phrasing of sentences, text, and rhythm. For me, a song is no longer poetry, it has become music because of the composer’s interpretation, shaping his or her reading experience into music. With spoken language one stays closer to the original poetry, and its implied melody of speech. One still hears the inner melody and rhythm of language, which have not yet become singing.

This time you do not read the poems yourself; the voice part is performed by Nora Fischer.

In the past thirty years I have been performing poetry, while gradually developing my own characteristic speech melody. It has taken me years to translate this typical intonation and speech rhythm into a meaningful notation, so my pieces can be performed by others as well, even when I am not around. Interestingly, during the premiere my mother constantly had the feeling that I was on stage myself, meaning that the notation, indeed, had captured some of the essence of my speech melody.

The speech melody, the rhythm and the intonation are all fully composed and notated, aren’t they?

Yes, but because aimed for a natural kind of speech, I didn’t want to force Nora to imitate the exact register of my voice. So I indicated the pitches with crosses; she simply follows the resulting contour – or Gestalt – in tune with the music, yet may transpose it to match the central fundamental pitches characterizing her own voice. The result sounds natural and simple, but at the same time the speech melody is very specific, because its conception of tonality matches the harmonies present, as well as the phrasing, implied by the sentences, and breathing. All pitches are connected to each other through spectral harmonies, whose central gravities are in a constant flux of transformation. The dreaming in the title refers not only to the meditative, contemplative way in which the poems are expressed, but also to their associative, fleeting content and the way they are treated musically.

Some of the poems are in Dutch, and there are also German and English poems?

Yes, I see dreams of airs as a manifesto for Europe, and the world, for expressing oneself in different languages as a first step towards communication. It is humanistic and idealistic, it is about the freedom of the imagination, about inner seeing and hearing from the individual’s perspective. You can reach out to another person by the attempt to speak their language. This includes not only the speech melody and meaning, but also the mere sounds themselves.

The multilingual libretto begins with an emerging day and ends with a kind of apotheosis, a philosophical reflection on love, based on a book by Erasmus. The binaural beatings serve as to induce a continually changing sound space, bringing the listener into several subsequent states of mind. The left and right loudspeakers produce slightly different tones, resulting in highly spatialized sounds. In my piece I use this electronically induced spatial effect as well as concrete beating pulses. In reaction to this, as scientific research has led us to believe, your brain might create its own inner binaural beatings with frequencies related to different states of mind such as meditation, alertness, creativity, dreams, or flow.

The full ensemble plays during three out of seven movements. Furthermore, an instrumental trio, and several movements with solo voice with soundtrack are part of the cycle.

I started the piece from the fifth movement, infinity stairs, a trio with electronic sounds, scored for flute, bass clarinet, electric guitar. In this trio, composed in 2014, the separate parts also may function as solo pieces, and can be played separately. Infinity stairs is the only movement of the cycle in which the voice doesn’t participate, so the listener gets some semantic rest. The trio revolves around ascending and descending lines, just like the infinitely ascending and descending steps in one of the famous etchings of Maurits Escher. I have tried to translate this optical illusion into an auditory illusion, along with large glissandi and the binaural beating effect I mentioned before.

The other movements were shaped around this center piece?

Yes, the cycle opens with spinning languages, evoking daybreak: bird twittering, a flute solo, followed by solo voice. In the second movement, golden vielleicht, the voice performs together with a few other instruments. The third, who put on my shoes, is a tutti movement, a hyper-lyrical journey through nature, as well as an encounter with death; it serves as an ode to life, the imagination, and independence, my Alice in Wonderland so to speak. The fourth movement at present longing, composed for solo voice with soundtrack, is based on a poem about the urgency of longing and physical desire. The tutti movement waves is about a bottle nose dolphin swimming in the sea. The concluding movement here and nowness is an ode to love, in which all instruments blend together with the voice’s urgent speech in a kind of spectral minimalism.

In essence, dreams of airs can be regarded as one big daydream about the imagination, and how language arises, while speaking, feeling-thinking, dreaming.

©2019 Thea Derks, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 4 January 2019 (this English translation was revised and expanded by the composer on 1 October 2019).
Download [Dutch; PDF] program notes by Thea Derks

Technical details

dreams of airs (2017-18) was commissioned by Stichting Iris or Hazel, with financial support by the Netherlands Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Bb clarinet & bass clarinet
electric guitar

a MIDI pedal for triggering the electronic sounds, to be played by one of the musicians, and laptop

60′ ca.

Deuss Music

further technical requirements
1.) QLAB software, to be installed on the above mentioned laptop
2.) The ‘dreams of airs’ QLAB sampler, to be obtained through Deuss Music.
3.) Microphone and stand for the voice
4.) Amplifier and mixer in the concert hall
5.) Stereo loudspeakers, to be placed within the ensemble
6.) Optional amplification of the ensemble (i.e. microphones, cables)


6 January 2019, 20:00, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): Dreams of Airs, Avontuurlijke Muziek Series, Tivoli|Vredenburg/ Hertz Hall, Utrecht, The Netherlands – Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor), Nora Fischer (voice)

10 November 2018, 19:00, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): Dreams of Airs, November Music, Willem Twee Concertzaal FKA De Toonzaal, Prins Bernhardstraat 4-6, 5211 HE Den Bosch, The Netherlands – Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor), Nora Fischer (voice) – world premiere


Bridge of babel (2009)
To the sun (2006) – US premiere

On 27 April 2019 at 12:00 (noon) Rozalie Hirs is presenting a poetry performance/ lecture at the Public Library in San Francisco, California, United States. The event takes place during the National Poetry Month. Rozalie talks about intermedial aspects of her poetry and music, followed by a poetry reading and performance of the poetry/music hybrids Bridge of Babel (2009), and To the sun (2006). The event lasts about an hour.

The poems are selections from her three latest books Geluksbrenger (2008), gestamelde werken (2012), and verdere bijzonderheden (2017), published by Uitgeverij Querido|Singeluitgeverijen, translated by Donald Gardner. The multilingual poetry/music hybrid Bridge of Babel (2009) is part of her CD Pulsars (2010), released by Attacca Productions.

This program is sponsored by the General Collections & Humanities Center and Kresge International Center of the San Francisco Public Library in partnership with the Dutch Foundation for Literature. The event is curated by John Smalley. For more info visit Eventbrite.


Rozalie @

As of today a few poems of mine, some translations, as well as readings in their original language, have been added to lyrikline. Happy reading and listening!

It is an honor to be included in the greatest international online body of poetry Lyrikline – Listen to the poet, which seems to be a dreamed home for a wish-be multilingualist like me.

With special thanks to Heiko Strunk, Lyrikline & Haus für Poesie, Berlin, and Thomas Möhlmann, former poetry chief of the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Amsterdam, 27 November 2018

List of poems | translations

een dag | Translations: de en fr lt es ru sq sv zh (1)

[vandaag probeer ik hartgrondig steeds opnieuw] | Translations: de ru sv (2)

[de dag rolt de straat op] | Translations: de ru sr sv (3)

stamboom | Translations: de en es fr lt ru sv zh (4)

dagelijks | Translations: de es fr lt sv (5)

wetmatigheden | Translations: de en fr sq sv (6)

tuimelaar | Translations: de es fr lt ru sr sv (7)

snelheid traagheid | Translations: de sr sv (8)

in één adem | Translations: de fr sq sr sv (9)

es will und willst du [6] | Original language: de (10)

es will und willst du [7] | Original language: de (11)



gestammelte werke (Dutch, English, German: original languages; German translation: Daniela Seel, Rozalie Hirs, Ard Posthuma; French translation: Henri Deluy, Kim Andringa, Daniel Cunin; Spanish translation: Diego Puls; English translation: Donald Gardner, Willem Groenewegen, Moze Jacobs; Russian translation: Nina Tarhan Mouravi; Swedish translation: Boerje Bohlin; Chinese translation: Aurea Sison; Albanian translation: Papleka Anton; Serbian translation: Jelica Novaković; Croatian translation: Radovan Lucic; Lithuanian translation: Ausra Gudaviciute, Gytis Norvilas), Berlin: kookbooks, 2017. Germany. ISBN 978-39-374-4567-0. 240pp. Buy at Amazon.

Rozalie Hirs: gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Singeluitgeverijen|Querido, 2012)gestamelde werken. Amsterdam: Singeluitgeverijen|Querido, The Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-214-4243-3. 88 pages.

Rozalie Hirs: Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Singeluitgeverijen|Querido, 2008)Geluksbrenger. Amsterdam: Singeluitgeverijen|Querido, The Netherlands, 2008. ISBN 978-90-214-3503-9. 76 pages.

(3), (7)-(9)
Rozalie Hirs: život mogućnosti (Serbian, Croatian translation: Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lučić). Poetry book. Banja Luka: Kuća Poezije/Biblioteka Prevodi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2014. ISBN 978-99-955-8050-6. 124pp.život mogućnosti (Serbian, Croatian translation: Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lučić). Banja Luka: Kuća Poezije/Biblioteka Prevodi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2014. ISBN 978-99-955-8050-6. 124 pages.

verdere bijzonderheden. Amsterdam: Querido, 2017. ISBN 978-90-214-0857-6. 56 pages.


Praise by Ton Naaijkens about gestammelte werke (2017)

Ton Naaijkens, hoogleraar Duitse letterkunde en Vertaalwetenschap, opent het recente jubileumnummer van Tijdschrift Filter met het artikel “Het vertaaljaar 2017 – De betrokken vertaalhemel”, waarin hij de vertaaloogst van 2017 bespreekt. Over gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) zegt hij:

Ik zit overduidelijk in de streng van de zonneschijn en wijs enthousiast op een publicatie van Rozalie Hirs. Bij de Duitse uitgeverij kookbooks verschenen haar Gestammelte Werke. Het gaat om een oorspronkelijke bundel van de dichteres in het Nederlands en elf andere talen, allemaal in één bundel tegelijk: “We zijn taalwezens, doen taal na, altijd in wording,” vertaal ik haar Duitse toelichting en citeer dus in één moeite door mezelf en Rozalie Hirs. “We veranderen haar, de taal, en onszelf door te spreken (en te schrijven), in het voelen-denken, in het waarnemen, in de uitwisseling. We ervaren onszelf in de wereld, in het spreken, in het woordtasten, en -proberen.” Meer dan elf vertalers wagen zich aan de teksten, onder hen Rozalie Hirs, die samen met kookbookskoningin Daniela Seel zichzelf vertaalt. Over feest gesproken, weg met alle donderwolken […] (Ton Naaijkens, Filter, Vantilt, 2018)



In Sprachen denken [review by Bernd Leukert, Faust Kultur, Germany]

Just found this wonderfully thorough review of gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) and ein tag (Berlin: hochroth verlag, 2014) by Bernd Leukert at Faust Kultur as part of its Europa series. Deeply grateful about this recognition in Germany.

Europa ist ein Ensemble der kulturellen Besonderheiten. Sie treten im Sprechen und Denken hervor und lassen sich in zweisprachigen Gedichtbänden nachlesen. In der Lyrik aber geht es darüber hinaus noch um Unübersetzbares, das unverzichtbar, aber wohl unerreichbar ist. Um diese Differenzen geht es bei der Übersetzung, und um solche Differenzen geht es in Europa. Um sie bewusst zu machen, veröffentlicht Faust-Kultur in loser Folge Besprechungen zwei- oder mehrsprachiger Gedichtbände. Die Lyrikerin Rozalie Hirs ist in ihrer niederländischen Heimat mit fünf Gedichtbänden bekannt. Zwei Verlage in Deutschland haben ihre anspruchsvollen Gedichte in zwei und mehrsprachigen Ausgaben veröffentlicht. Bernd Leukert hat diese polyglotte Bibliothek staunend durchlesen.

In Sprachen denken
Europoesie: Zwei Gedichtbände von Rozalie Hirs

Die fünfzehn Gedichte von Rozalie Hirs, die unter dem Titel Ein Tag / Een Dag 2014 im hochroth Verlag erschienen sind, breiten schon die vielfältigen Möglichkeiten aus, aus denen die Autorin poetische Texte sich entwickeln lässt. Da wird keiner über einen Leisten geschlagen, sondern Form und Struktur, korrespondierend zum Inhalt, immer neu gedacht. Darüberhinaus zeigt sich Hirs, die 1965 in Gouda geboren wurde und auch Komponistin zeitgenössischer ernster Musik ist, erfahren in der Umsetzung komplexer Entwürfe. Permutationen inhaltlicher Bezüge gehören dazu,

wie bei wiederholtem lesen
des bekannten in dem
unbekannten zimmer
wo das bett entschläft
und der boden sich fegt
läuft der platz über in

die bestimmung.

oder solche, in denen Gegenstände an ihren Ursprung oder an ihr Ende verrückt erscheinen,

wie ein bild sich in sprache haut, deine
stimme aufspringt, dein herz verschießt,

deine rose überläuft – der wein
in eichen ist, kelch in steinen,

der tisch honig summt und
die eule mit wald deinen mund entläßt –

gehört wald seinen knochen, feuer
seiner vollendung, was asche – was du?

Ihre Gedichte treten einem als Sprachkunstwerke vor Augen. Was sie mitteilen, erschließt sich zunehmend, und manchmal auch nicht gänzlich, beim wiederholten Lesen.

Drei der Gedichte finden sich auch im Band gestammelte Werke in von der hochroth-Fassung leicht abweichenden Übersetzungsversionen. Selbst mit dem „Tümmler“, den er schon für hochroth ins Deutsche gebracht hatte, bietet Ard Posthuma eine (elegantere) Variante an. Aber der kookbooks-Band umfasst ganz andere Dimensionen.

Zunächst die kosmopolitische Bestrebung im Kielwasser der Aufklärung: der Traum, die totale Bibliothek zu erstellen, die durch Kumulierung das Buch wäre, das unendlich verzweigte Netzwerk der Übersetzungen aller Werke in alle Sprachen, das sich zu einer Art Universalbibliothek kristallisieren würde, in der alle Unübersetzbarkeiten getilgt wären.

Was der Philosoph Paul Ricœur hier ins Reich der Träume verweist, hat kookbooks wagemutig auf den Weg gebracht, allerdings ohne etwas tilgen zu wollen, sondern, um die untilgbaren Differenzen wie Perlen auf Ketten zu reihen. Fast 50 Gedichte von Rozalie Hirs sind – oft unter Mitwirkung der Autorin – in mindestens zwei andere Sprachen übersetzt (neben dem niederländischen Original ist Deutsch obligatorisch), der in Langzeilen atemlos dahinströmende „lebenslauf“ findet in 13 Sprachen Aufnahme. 19 Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer ermöglichten es, Hirs’ Verse auf Albanisch, Chinesisch, Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, Kroatisch, Litauisch, Russisch, Schwedisch, Serbisch und Spanisch zu lesen (wobei einige Übersetzungen, wie im Buch erwähnt wird, schon in Zeitschriften veröffentlicht wurden). Rozalie Hirs hat damit viele der auf Poesiefestivals und -lesungen benötigten fremdsprachigen Versionen ihrer Gedichte in diesem Band versammelt.

Wer also schon Schwierigkeiten mit dem Deutschen hat, weil er vertraut damit ist, wird einige dieser poetischen Schriften, wie das Albanische oder das nichteuropäische Chinesisch, höflich zur Kenntnis nehmen und das Schriftbild mit interesselosem Wohlgefallen betrachten können. Die übersetzerische Leistung kann ihm nur ein Muttersprachler vermitteln. Dennoch: Dieses Sprachenparlament, das da um die Reden und Gesänge der Rozalie Hirs versammelt ist und sie mit allen unumgänglichen Differenzen reproduziert, ist schon ein grandioses Unterfangen und eine beeindruckende verlegerische Leistung. Dazu muss man sich vor Augen führen, dass Hirs nicht einen homogenen Textkorpus anbietet, sondern eben Heterogenes: leichtfüßig Aphoristisches, poetische Protokolle in langzeiligen, freien Rhythmen, obsessive Naturlyrik, Reflexion des eigenen Schreibens beim Schreiben und formal experimentelle Gedichte, bei denen bis hin zur Verwendung von Markow-Ketten Texte abstrakten Superstrukturen unterworfen werden, was erstaunliche Auswirkungen auf die jeweilige Textgestalt der verschiedenen Übersetzungen zeitigt. –

der text nimmt einen kleinen raum für sich ein
sympathisierend eine erscheinung sich
selbst genug … wirft den autor auf nimmt zunächst
die gestalt dessen an was meine mutter findet
oder zu finden meint vom benennen die namen
kommen dann von meinem vater ganz langsam
tritt mein (eigentliches) fühlen-denken ein übernimmt
endlich den raum auch wenn freunde manchmal
hallo bist du da kann ich kurz an deinen arm beißen?
horchen nach jemandem der ich noch nicht bin
das um-mich-her öffnen wo das schauen
in sich gekehrt sich ausschreibt einen weg findet

Das Gedicht heißt „texterscheinung“. Hirs erzählt anschaulich vom unsichtbar-komplizierten Prozess der Entstehung des Gedichts „texterscheinung“. Wie so oft bei dieser Lyrikerin wird die Gedichterzählung von einer ausgefuchsten Konstruktionsidee gesteuert. So auch und doch völlig anders im Gedicht „landschaftlichkeit“. Das vergleichsweise sinnlichere Sujet ist mit grammatikalischen Verkürzungen und Doppelbedeutungen gerafft und durchschossen von heterogenen Gemütsäußerungen:

der himmel an bisschen königsblau allmählich gewöhnt weniger
an azur enttäuschung versunken von heißen tagen erinnert

ein leben sich dünen und sandflut die einfache lösung
antwort auf das wenn nötig gepflügte maisfeld unverschämte

erinnerung an weiden mit kanälen kuhfladen einer mühle
in der ferne mit dreckstiefeln das schon damals war windkraft

ganz normal und torf steckte in gräben voll giersch fürs erste
noch unbenannter blumen eine vom donner geborene nacht

Rozalie Hirs’ Dichtung ist auch dann, wenn sie scheinbar übermütig tänzelnd daherkommt, im besten Sinne des Wortes elaboriert und komponiert. Wer sie mehrmals liest, dem erschließt sich, was ungeschrieben blieb; und wer die Übersetzungen liest, dem wird der Reichtum bewusst, den die sprachlichen Abweichungen freisetzen.

In seinem bedenkenswerten Essayband Die Macht des Denkens bemerkt Giorgio Agamben:

Wenn es zutrifft, dass wir nur in der Sprache denken können, wenn jede philosophische Befragung, wie Wittgenstein sagte, als eine Befragung der Wortbedeutung dargestellt werden kann, dann ist die Übersetzung eine ausgezeichnete Weise, in der der Mensch sein eigenes Wort denkt.

Bernd Leukert, Faust Kultur, 25. Januar 2018

Rozalie Hirs
Ein Tag / Een Dag
Übertragung: Ard Posthuma und Rozalie Hirs
40 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-902871-50-3
hochroth Verlag, Berlin 2014

Rozalie Hirs
Gestammelte Werke
Übersetzung: Anton Papleka, Aurea Sison, Ard Posthuma, Daniela Seel, Rozalie Hirs, Ko Kooman, Donald Gardner, Willem Groenewegen, Moze Jacobs, Kim Andringa, Daniel Cunin, Henri Deluy, Radovan Lučić, Aušra Gudavičiūtė, Gytis Norvilas, Nina Tarhan Mouravi, Boerje Bohlin, Jelica Novaković, Diego Puls
238 Seiten, Reihe Lyrik Band 39
ISBN 978-3-937445-67-0
kookbooks, Berlin 2017


Tip in De Standaard, België

Johan de Boose tipt gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) van Rozalie Hirs vandaag in De Letteren, De Standaard, België, op de vraag “Welk boek uit 2017 verdient meer aandacht?”. Met dank aan Gie Devos, die me dit stukje opstuurde! De Boose:

Gestammelte Werke, poëzie van de dichteres/componiste Rozalie Hirs. Het is een prachtige verzameling gedichten, uitgegeven dor de Berlijnse uitgever kookbooks, maar het is meertalig (elf talen, waaronder Nederlands). Een speels en tegelijk urgent boek. Een boek dat grenzen opheft, een Europees statement.


Multilingualism: Tower of Babel I Diapason

On 15 December 2017 at 20:30 CET the Amsterdam-based experimental poetry venue Perdu presents the first installment of a series of evenings Toren van Babel/ Diapason around the phenomenon of multilingualism in contemporary poetry. The evenings are curated by Lucie Fortuin, Linda Veldman, and Frances Welling (Avondenredactie/ director of Perdu).

During this evening the multilingual poetry book gestammelte werke (2017) by Rozalie Hirs is presented to the Dutch audience. The new book, recently published by the Berlin-based experimental publishing house kookbooks, can be regarded as a manifesto for Europe and the world. Rozalie Hirs, Linda Veldman, and Frances Welling kick off the evening with a language caroussel of poems in Dutch, German, French, English, and Russian, selected from the new compendium. The performance is followed by a round table discussion with Frances Welling (host), Çağlar Köseoğlu, Dean Bowen, and Rozalie Hirs, on the topic of multilingualism in poetry. After the intermission Hirs performs her music composition Bridge of Babel (2009), an imaginary road trip around the world in twenty languages. The program is concluded with a brandnew multilingual radioplay by Lucie Fortuin, Linda Veldman, and Frances Welling.


Book launch at Ausland, Berlin

Here are two photographs made by Marit Vos at Ausland, Berlin, of yesterday’s book launch of gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) by Rozalie Hirs. Presenting a multilingual reading of the poems for the first time was so much fun!

Cia Rinne read Swedish, Spanish, and French translations by Boerje Bohlin, Diego Puls, and Kim Andringa/Daniel Cunin/Henry Deluy respectively; Daniela Seel read German originals and German translations by Ard Posthuma/Daniela Seel/Rozalie Hirs; Rozalie Hirs read Dutch and English originals, as well as English translations by Donald Gardner.


Duo booklaunch Mette Moestrup & Rozalie Hirs, Berlin

On 17 October 2017 at Ausland, Berlin, the Danish poet Mette Moestrup and the Dutch poet Rozalie Hirs present the book launches of their respective poetry books Stirb, Lüge, Stirb, and gestammelte werke, both published this year by kookbooks, Berlin.

During this evening the multilingual poetry book gestammelte werke (2017) by Rozalie Hirs is presented to the German audience. The new book, recently published by the Berlin-based experimental publishing house kookbooks, can be regarded as a manifesto for Europe and the world. Rozalie Hirs, Cia Rinne, and Daniela Seel kick off the evening with a language caroussel of poems in Dutch, German, French, English, and Spanish, selected from the new compendium. Mette Moestrup and Rike Scheffler present a duo reading from Moestrup’s new poetry book Stirb, Lüge stirb, that recently appeared with kookbooks. Daniela Seel interviews Hirs and Moestrup about their new books. With additional performances by Rike Scheffler (music, poetry) and Cia Rinne (multilingual poetry).


Welcome to the duo booklaunch of Moestrup & Hirs, Berlin

Welcome to the duo booklaunch of Mette Moestrup and Rozalie Hirs today at Ausland, Berlin, Germany. The event starts at 20:30 CET (doors open at 20:00 CET).

Today the Danish poet Mette Moestrup and the Dutch poet Rozalie Hirs present the book launches of their respective poetry books, the bilingual (Danish, German) Stirb, Lüge, Stirb, and multilingual (Dutch, German, English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, Swedish, Serbian, Albanian, Lithuanian) gestammelte werke, both published this year by kookbooks, Berlin.

Moestrup and Hirs read poems from their new books. With guest appearances by Rike Scheffler, Cia Rinne, as well as kookbooks publisher Daniela Seel. It would be great to see you there!

The poems of gestammelte werke were selected by Daniela Seel from Hirs’ five most recent poetry books: Speling (Amsterdam: Querido, 2005), Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Querido, 2008), gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012), Curvices and Musicles (Bleiswijk: Uitgeverij Vleugels, 2013), verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Querido, 2017). With special thanks to all translators who contributed to gestammelte werke: Daniela Seel, Diego Puls, Ard Posthuma, Kim Andringa, Henri Deluy, Aurea Sison, Donald Gardner, Daniel Cunin, Anton Papleka, Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lucic, Ausra Gudaviciute, Gytis Norvilas, Nina Tarhan Mouravi, Boerje Bohlin, Moze Jacobs. And to Andreas Töpfer for the cover and book design.

For more information, please visit Rozalie Hirs’ new German website. Buy the book at Amazon.


Poem of the day at Fixpoetry

Today the poem ‘der tag rollt auf die Strasse’, translated into German by Rozalie Hirs and Daniela Seel, is Poem of the Day/Text des Tages at Fixpoetry. It was selected from Rozalie Hirs’ new multilingual book gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017). On Fixpoetry you can also read the wonderful review Polyphone Bedeutungsströme by Marcus Neuert about the new book.


Polyphone Bedeutungsströme [review by Marcus Neuert]

Today, on 14 August 2017, the German poetry webzine Fixpoetry published the wonderful review Polyphone Bedeutungsströme by Marcus Neuert about the new multilingual poetry compendium gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) by Rozalie Hirs.


Publication of gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017)

Recently gestammelte werke, a new poetry compendium by Rozalie Hirs, has been published by kookbooks, Berlin. The poems are selected by Daniela Seel from Hirs’ five most recent poetry books: Speling (Amsterdam: Querido, 2005), Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Querido, 2008), gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012), Curvices and Musicles (Bleiswijk: Uitgeverij Vleugels, 2013), verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Querido, 2017).

The poems are translated from Dutch or English, into German, English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Serbian, Albanian, Swedish, and/or Lithuanian, by Daniela Seel, Diego Puls, Ard Posthuma, Kim Andringa, Henri Deluy, Aurea Sison, Donald Gardner, Daniel Cunin, Anton Papleka, Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lucic, Ausra Gudaviciute, Gytis Norvilas, Nina Tarhan Mouravi, Boerje Bohlin, Moze Jacobs.

The cover and book design is by Andreas Töpfer.

For more information, please visit Hirs’ new German website. Buy the book at Amazon.


Publication at kookbooks, Berlin, in March 2017

kookbooks catalog cover herbst 2014Absolutely delighted to officially announce the forthcoming publication of gestammelte werke by kookbooks, Berlin, later this year. kookbooks has been one of my favorite publishing houses for years, so I feel deeply grateful. Daniela Seel and I have been working on the translations together intensively over the past few years. The book is a selection from five of my poetry books, and contains original poems in Dutch, German, English, and Spanish, and translations into as many as ten languages, such as Chinese, Russian, Swedish, Albanian, among others. More info to follow soon.

Rozalie Hirs: gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2014)

Rozalie Hirs
gestammelte werke Gedichte
Reihe Lyrik Band 39/ ca. 240 pages
ISBN 978-3-9374-45-67-0
kookbooks, Berlin, Germany
March 2017


Performance at the Dutch Pavilion, Frankfurt

160901-rozaliehirs-gestammelte-werke-kookbooks-2016-catalog On 22 October 2016 at 13:00 CET Rozalie Hirs performs a short portrait concert at the Theatre in the Dutch/Flemish Pavilion, Guests of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.

The program consists of poetry and music hybrids by Hirs, including the new composition ein tag (2006-16). It is based on the poetry cycle with the same name from her forthcoming poetry book gestammelte werke (Berlin: kooknooks, 2017). Translated by Daniela Seel and the author.


Performance at Lyrikbuchhandlung, Frankfurt

161020-lyrikbuchhandlung-frankfurtOn Thursday 20 October 2016 at 20:00 CET Rozalie Hirs performs her poems at the Buchhandlung der Lyrikverlage, Frankfurt, Germany. It is the first time Hirs reads from her brand-new poetry book gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017). German translations by Ard Posthuma, Daniela Seel and the author.

Full program

Ard Posthuma, Curved Space, Logos, Doelenkwartet, De Doelen, Piet Gerbrandy, De Gids, Dichters in de Prinsentuin, Reinbert de Leeuw, Pulsars, article 5, Eleanor Livingstone, Jeroen Dera, Stanza Poetry Festival, David Kweksilber, Dutch Foundation for Literature, Tijd en Sintel, Van Doesburghuis, formalist quartet, Ronan Gil de Morais, Paris, ロザリー ヒルス, Greenroom Players, Carl De Strycker, Takao Hyakutome, Johan De Boose, Joël Bons, ein tag, Marijke Hoogenboom, Mikhail Malt, Niels Bogaards, Clarence Barlow, Richard Ayres, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Wim Henderickx, Nieuw Ensemble, Benjamin Thigpen, Marco Stroppa, Bert Van Herck, Rosalie Hirs, Bianca Sistermans, Ernestine Stoop, Lyrikline, Fixpoetry, Rozalie Hirsch, Rosalie Hirsch, ahora es una rosa, Cathy Van Eck, To the sun, Van Doesburg Rinsemahuis, Museum Drachten, Kars Persoon, Arbre généalogique, hochroth verlag, Hilbert's Hotel, Marc Reichow, Poëziecentrum, Edwin Fagel, Joep Stapel, Yauguru Books, Sonar Quartett, Jean Thorel, BCMG, WDR, Kulturkreis Heilbronn, Richard Baker, Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Miranda Cuckson, Margot Dijkgraaf, 3 durch 3, James Fei, život mogućnosti, Olivier Messiaen, De Link, Attacca Productions, SPECTRA Ensemble, Filip Rathé, Huygens-Fokker, Henri Deluy, Etienne Siebens, Zaterdagmatinee, Nora Fischer, Boris Tellegen, Geert Jan Mulder, Jaap Blonk, Klangforum Wien, Kunstempel, 3durch3, Louis Andriessen, Keiko Shichijo, Emilio Pomarico, lightclouds, Jochem Valkenburg, Musikfabrik, Todd Moellenberg, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Katharina Rosenberger, UCSB, Gaudeamus, Laurens Ham, Philip Thomas, On Tenderness, Donderdagavondserie, Kaija Saariaho, philharmonie zuidnederland, Festival van Vlaanderen, Sound installation, Zephyrkwartet, Marieke Franssen, Stefan Asbury, Paul Craenen, Sound Forest, Ooteoote, Harm van den Dorpel, Performing Arts Fund, Lichtende Drift, Daniel Cunin, Johannes Fischer, Tristan Murail, Slagwerk Den Haag, Klankenbos, Bas Wiegers, Sixxen, Sacro Monte, Gérard Grisey, Bridge of Babel, Kim Andringa, In LA, Friedrich Block, Platonic ID, Infinity Stairs, dreams of airs, Venus, Nadir, article 8, Bert Palinckx, article 0, Book of Mirrors, Roseherte, article 6, Yvan Vander Sanden, Meditations, article 1 to 3, Maison Van Doesburg, Curvices and Musicles, article 4, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bozzini Quartet, OpenMusic, OMTristan, parallel sea [to the lighthouse], Bauwien van der Meer, Jorinde Keesmaat, Van Doesburg House, Ways of Space, Holland Festival, The listening house, Remko Spaan, Luisterhuis, Interactive song cycle, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Daniela Seel, Cox & Grusenmeyer, Michaël Snitker, article 7, parallel world and sea, Arnold Marinissen, parallel world [breathing], Joost Baars, kookbooks, Wiek Hijmans, Casper Schipper, Family Tree, gestammelte werke, November Music, Lucky Charm, Curvices, Fie Schouten, Teaching, Zenit, ASKO|Schönberg, gestamelde werken, Perdu, Geluksbrenger, verdere bijzonderheden, Donemus Publishing, Machiel Spaan, Uitgeverij Querido, Deuss Music