Rozalie Hirs

News and events archive, search by tag: Michaël Snitker


further particulars on book covers

This is a first timer: the book cover of the recent poetry book verdere bijzonderheden (further particulars; Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Querido, 2017; design: Michaël Snitker) receives a mention in Volkskrant today; in a short collective review Erik van den Berg discusses the nature of old and recent book covers: Zoete kleuren rukken op in de boekwinkel, ook bij onzoete stof. The full text is below [Dutch only].

Please visit Volkrant for all pictures of the mentioned book covers.


Cover girl at Poëziekrant

The new december issue 6/2017 of the poetry magazine Poëziekrant features an interview with Rozalie Hirs by Johan de Boose on ways of writing, ideas on poetry, as well as the new book verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Querido, 2017). The accompanying portrait photograph by Bianca Sistermans serves as the cover image of the current issue. With special thanks to Carl de Strycker, director of Poëziecentrum, Ghent, Belgium, and editor-in-chief of Poëziekrant.


Poetry performance during Nieuwe Noten

On 10 December 2017 at 15:00 Nieuwe Noten, curated by Fie Schouten, presents the third concert of its opening season, featuring the musicians Fie Schouten (bass clarinet), Jelte Althuis (bass clarinet), Ryoko Imai (percussion), and Rie Wanatebe (percussion). Rozalie Hirs interlaces their music performances with readings from her brandnew poetry book verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Querido, 2017).


Poem of the day at Ooteoote

Very happy to be part of Ooteoote’s Lage Landenserie (LL105) with the poem “verschijn en wezen’ selected from my recent book verdere bijzonderheden. Enjoy!


Yes, the void!

On 27 November 2017 the Netherlands-based online contemporary arts and literature magazine Yes, the void! published a poem by Rozalie Hirs, selected from her brandnew poetry book verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Querido, 2017).

gerede hemelen

reizen door een oneindig bewijs van gerede hemelen of onvolkomen
heden aardediep uit haar spiegel gefiguurzaagde verleiding

die alfabetswandeling onder verliefden langs rozen en lucht
op hun mooist als een reiziger hier onverwacht aan beantwoordt

op de vlucht werkt als vanzelfsprekende ontmoeting die verboden
schrijvers uit vrijheid geklaarde onmogelijkheid in de eigen naam te verkeren

een beeld binnenlaten zomaar uit interesse voor het onbekende
dat wij natuurlijkerwijs bezitten of enig verlangen onvolkomen

nieuw als een mysterie of een engel die lijkt op een mysterie
op het gedachte gevoelde schijnt

©2017 Rozalie Hirs
verdere bijzonderheden (2017)


Poem of the day at Laurens Jz. Coster

On 26 November 2017 the poem ‘je komt uit het niets’ is the featured poem of the day at Laurens Jz Coster. Enjoy!

je komt uit het niets

je komt uit het niets tevoorschijn noem het liefdesdaad ongelukje
toevalstreffer zomaar zijnde voor zover het verschijnt in enkelvoud al

wat je bent bestemd voor iemand om door iemand waargenomen
te worden zonder meer als zodanig verschijnend aan iemands zijn

of haar werkelijkheid waarheid borgt objectief een jij verdwijnend
in het niets doe jij iets levends toon je dat aan levenden die zich tonen

almaar verdwijnende tijdeloosheid naar het schijnt van dat alles
steeds sneller in de botsing tussen verleden en hoe het komt

een nog-niet en niet-meer samengebracht nu duurt zolang je begrensd
omsloten bent door de wijde stormachtige natuur van het alledaagse

©2017 Rozalie Hirs
verdere bijzonderheden (2017)


Book launch verdere bijzonderheden (2017)

On 23 November 2017 at 17:00 CET the poetry book verdere bijzonderheden (Amsterdam: Querido; 2017) by Rozalie Hirs will be presented to the public at the independent literary Athenaeum bookshop in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Rozalie reads a few poems from the new volume. With additional performances by her admired colleagues Anneke Brassinga, Jaap Blonk, Eva Gerlach, Bernke Klein Zandvoort, and Astrid Lampe. The presentation and readings are to be followed by a reception.


Invitation to booklaunch verdere bijzonderheden, Athenaeum, Amsterdam

Here is the invitation to the booklaunch of verdere bijzonderheden by Rozalie Hirs, sent out today by Annette Portegies, publisher of Querido, and Athenaeum bookhandel, Amsterdam. Welcome! [Download invitation PDF]


Essay by Joost Baars about gestamelde werken

An in-depth essay on gestamelde werken (work in stuttering) by Rozalie Hirs just appeared in Poëziekrant 7-8/12, Poëziecentrum, Ghent, Belgium. ‘Poëzie voor scheppende lezers: over gestamelde werken van Rozalie Hirs’ (‘Poetry for creative readers’) by Joost Baars discusses the reader as creator, easy versus difficult poetry, politics and religion in poetry, and the invitation to act.



gestamelde werken – book launch

121017 2012-Hirs-Gestameldewerken

On September 19, 2012, the fifth poetry collection by Rozalie Hirs, gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012; ontwerp: Michaël Snitker) has its book launch party at Van Rossum bookshop, Amsterdam. With performances by Sasja Jansen, Anneke Brassinga, Frank Keizer, Jaap Blonk, and Rozalie Hirs. Querido editor Mirjam van Hengel presents the first copy of the book to the author, and Samuel Vriezen interviews her about the new work. Host for the night is Joost Baars.


gestamelde werken (work in stuttering, 2012)


1. poems
1.1. a day 1-3
1.2. an angel
1.3. who put on my shoes

2. reviews
2.1. Piet Gerbrandy: A skin rock of water
2.2. Arie van den Berg
2.3. Reviews in Dutch [PDF]

3. digital poetry: sightbook of work in stuttering
3.1. alter ego 1 – Nicky Geneva, Blogger
3.2. alter ego 2 – Agatha van der Aa, YouTube
3.3. alter ego 3 – Diederik Lamme, Tumblr
3.1. alter ego 4 – Anna Sherman, Facebook
3.1. alter ego 5 – Paul Wittema, Twitter
3.1. alter ego 6 – Marc Thompson, Instagram

poems from gestamelde werken

a day


flying eyes with springy wings lights shed
on a map sketched in hands flaming wide-awake
I didn’t say that a breathless featherweight
nectar guide and pollen of living poppies blue
fields of cornflowers like heads popping out a one-eyed
cloudless sky that dreams emerge from
silkworms in thousands of yards
spinning languages on green-grey mulberry leaves covered
with hairs revealing threads come to meet
an amorous sun just like that uninvited or rain
stretching antennae for just a moment a touch
of unfolding wings towards what is (a day)


where do butterflies come from that invasion of springlike
sensitivity to light unbearable off-white spotted
wings woken from a dream night so early
a handful of morning dew drunk from shining
leaves of grass and a few hours that sounded like deep bells
in a village between non-specified mountains
where people live somewhere on earth harvest leaks and onions
in the crevices apples in an orchard and trees blossom
grapes burst for fermenting in stainless steel barrels
soon tantalize a nose the palate then
slide over the tongue as a foretaste of who tonight
in a few hours prelude to once more (a day)


is a country of kingfishers revealed in the window
then frost flowers crackle on warm breath towards lips
move like memories, loosened hair past clouds
paths not visited by spotted butterflies or the wind
a house the brushwood rainwater frozen in a roadside verge
earth vanishes under a white glittering expanse
wrapped in rays of light the same clouds sketch
again some mist past the chilly morning
flakes spring into the light an arching
of horizons lets shadows finger by finger
glide past trees wakeup repeat oneself
word for word a breathing into (a day)

(translation: Donald Gardner)



an angel crosses street meets a man
vanishes round the corner
when the angel and the man
have seen each other at least

appears on the scene the shining of eyes
a frenzied quest for downcast eyelids or
scraping up words off the floor shards of
an unfinished conversation until further enquiry
in imperfect tense as long as you live
and give way and give way
vanish at a blink of an eye

or a word from a maze of surrender
to what is promising or –
at any rate – available

fully conscious body

(translation: Donald Gardner)


who put on my shoes

[1 ]
there look at those wild-strawberry leaves purring a little
cat between thorns where a tree shakes its swaying antlers
by skeletal islands dry-as-dust wind
swift cuts a tail into two points punt drifts
riverbanks to my right-as-rain roses on hairpin legs
toes with thoughts and tongue in cheek clacking
the buds burst out of their husks happy to be alive I am
daybreak lilac when its bursting spray allows
and birch bark curls dance in wind


grass verges the edge of a field in marram grass peeled
gooseberries clover there leafage theft leaves its trees autumnal
a leggy horse runs in circles like a daft thing dances
through parched fields pulls out plough and root
drowns where boat strikes land with sail mast
along the path spotted woodpeckers wave for fourteen years
I wept come now come then stubbled morning
as we arrive at snowdrops lady’s mantle meadows
water green lilies whitish pearling earth


crazy about figs and lilies birds dipping
in a lake where sunlight blazes and screeching wind consumes earth
with rapidly scooped paper lightning-quick swept-up clouds
airy meadows white cut I came over light hills
and met with death who put on my shoes
in spring frost I walked off on bare feet
among evergreen pine groves through mudflats
waded through the tide to the sea bellying to my calves
remnants from ice aged wrinkled branch crackling
flower its buds letters bursting open seize the day
the night and endless waterways gleaming ribbons
through fields with nettles at my feet


that morning hoar frost so buds and buds the milky white sun
on roof tiles dancing rain along free ranging field path
caressed head and cheekbone olive branches
cradle ash tree branches then I leap with eiderdown out of bed
drink magnified water squamous dream bits
lost on air float down a path where coltsfoot hops
with trotting hoof prints I plant midnight feet
in the pale grey field covered with powdery snow
beside little duckweed boats adrift on the mire


with pomegranate leaves their scarlet hairs
I see loosestrife rooting through fields
weeds cuttings of horsetails a land full of may
moisten earth to sow spring ask mountains the time
not to be spun fine pale yellow plumed thistles not to come too close
pods float in ditches reflect white elderberry sprays
a smell wrapped in jasmine hats lost on air
speckled mossy green climb with daisy stalks
ladders along hair pupating into peacock butterflies


as if I could hear light falling through walls in a village
of trees reveal themselves an entire road close by
blossoming I entrusted water lilies and lotus
blindly to water in blazing sunlight first tines
follow limbs driven by wind directions ships
of bark murmuring pebbles in the beck roll slowly
towards dune rumbling past hovels grief charmed early floored
marsh flowers of hand-shaped parted leaves
I weave starry wreaths calyxes to drink from


in knuckles little daggers of burning larch needles
always stab red staggered tortoiseshells springing where
hogweed grows beside pale birch bark bees zoom
the moon its antics see flagellates springing nightingale
then I eat belladonna slimy frogs legs hop
in curling beck between the script of tiny scots pines
bellowing sea joy billowing honey streams of cotton grass
bones of verge grass batter against a hill beacons
in the distance ships understand mirroring each other to shards

(translation: Donald Gardner)



Piet Gerbrandy: A skinrock of water
De Groene Amsterdammer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 31 October 2012

in knuckles little daggers of burning larch needles
always stab red staggered tortoiseshells springing where
hogweed grows beside pale birch bark bees zoom
the moon its antics see flagellates springing nightingale
then I eat belladonna slimy frogs legs hop
in curling beck between the script of tiny scots pines
bellowing sea joy billowing honey streams of cotton grass
bones of verge grass batter against a hill beacons
in the distance ships understand mirroring each other to shards

When looking at an impressionistic painting from a certain distance, one undergoes an explosion of color which still can be interpreted as a representation of reality. The painter employs a kind of fragmentation in order to create the impression of a larger whole. When you observe the canvas up close, you only see little dots, loose elements of which you scarcely can imagine that they may belong to a coherent unity. It is strangely paradoxical that so much technique is required in order to approach nature.

Rozalie Hirs (1965), also a prolific composer with a background in chemical engineering, is a poet who likes to reveal how her work comes about. Instead of merging splinters into a natural whole, she breaks unities down to sparkling shards. What remains is often a stuttering, yet not that of a desperate poet who is not able to word the unsayable. Hirs rather tries joyfully to factorize the sayable. Her poetry is contructed through and through, while her starting point often is an experience of the senses, reminding of the early Dutch poet Herman Gorter. She writes sensitive verses that ideosyncatically strive for a balance between romanticism and mathematics.

An important motif in gestamelde werken is the dawn of a new day, waking up to open your eyes for the light. In the first poem, the eyes set off into the morning like butterflies:

flying eyes with springy wings lights shed
on a map sketched in hands flaming wide-awake

In subsequent lines, poppies and cornflowers bloom and dreams are compared with silkworms that go to meet a sun in love. What they spin, however, is not silk but language. As soon as you try to see what it says on the level of words and word groups, you get lost, but if you read the poem out loud a few times, a convincing whole emerges, ‘for just a moment a touch/ of unfolding wings towards what is.’

The second series involves an intriguing process of dismantling and repeated assembly. The material is given by the opening poem.

it wants and will you against that tree there
look away from your stem blossoming pearls
wettest bath of seeds drink pastures
seven streams along the tabletop at once
meadowing our hands into a daredevil stairwell

Hirs makes groups of words and sentences flow into one another in such a way that a polysemous stream of language arises. Some lines further on, the human figure is strikingly described as a ‘skin rock of water’. We are at once solid and fluid. The same holds for the poems, thorough constructions that are as ungraspable as water.


Download PDF (Nederlands)
Online review (Nederlands)

Arie van den Berg: De rijpgrage bomen buigen>
NRC Boekenbijlage, The Netherlands, 4 January 2013


Hirs likes to go all the way, and thereby reaches for the highest points. She is a composer as well. Her best poems ‘sing’ and have a forceful melody. Ever since her debut collection from 1998, her development can be traced clearly.

If the poems in Locus (1998) and Logos (2002) seemed traditional when taken by themselves, already the second collection was conceptually organized. Logos is a through-composed opus about the human body. In reading poem by poem, you can escape the concept, but on the middle pages it is clear as daylight what the poet’s intentions are. There, a skinned body points to two- or three-letter codes referring to the alphabetically ordered poems in the collection. Here, I think, Hirs made use of the constructive achievements of her education in chemical technology and composition. It was the first impulse for three subsequent volumes of poetry of ideas. In [Speling] (2005) the concept was still very modest. On the first 39 pages, the poems grow, more or less regularly, one line at a time. Then the system falters, and finally the lines fall apart all across ten pages. In Geluksbrenger (2008) Rozalie Hirs made further strides towards disintegration, especially syntactically. Her poetry did no longer obey linguistic laws. Her lines escape the rules of language and started even to swarm about guided by the typesetter’s hand.

Gestamelde werken, too, finds Hirs toying with the rules of communicative language. Rather than in proclamation her message is in sound and the atmosphere that is evoked thereby. […] A happy example of that is offered by one of the shortest poems in the collection. […] In her longer poems, Hirs constructs such atmospheres in no less sonorous ways. […] Hirs’s poetry intrigues me. Her stammering may be constructed, most of all she seems to be out on an investigation. And her investigations are a poetic adventure. For readers who are also curious.

Download PDF (Nederlands)
Online review (Nederlands)

Paul Demets: Ladies’ time
De Morgen, Belgium, 16 January 2013
Download PDF (Nederlands)

Joost Baars: Poëzie voor scheppende lezers
Poëzekrant 7-8/12, Poëziecentrum, Gent, België, Amsterdam, 2 januari 2013
Download PDF (Nederlands)

Ricco van Nierop: Tussen wonderschoon en bevreemdend in
De Recensent, 10 October 2012
Online review (Nederlands)
Online podcast (Nederlands)


RozalieHirs: gestamelde werken (ontwerp & foto: Michaël Snitker)


digital poetry – sightbook of work in stuttering

The Belgian duo, Cox & Grusenmeyer, designers and visual artists, created six online personas for six poems or cycles from the collection gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012), by Rozalie Hirs. They let these six characters – or alter egos, as they call them – come alive on six different social networks. In choosing the poems, Cox & Grusenmeyer took their own reading experience as a starting point, their encounter with the poem in question. What does the poem speak of? How does it appear? How does it show itself? Does it speak slowly, quickly, loudly, in a singsong, awkwardly? Is it neutral in tone, aggressive, longing, lyrical or seductive? They chose very diverse poems or cycles and characterized their encounter with the poetry in catchwords. That way, they developed six very different characters for the poems, characters they made come alive on the social network that seemed to fit the character most closely. By way of the links below you can visit the characters and become part of Cox & Grusenmeyer’s reading experience.

All images were made especially for this project and are legally protected by copyright ©2012-2013 Cox & Grusenmeyer. The words shown in the images, photos, video and graphics are quotes from the poems by Rozalie Hirs. These concern the following six poems or cycles, all of which appear integrally: ‘lieve lente lacht’ (p.33), ‘vier de stameling’ (pp.52-53), ‘who put on my shoes’ 1-7 (‘die deed mijn schoenen aan’ 1-7; pp.54-61; English translation: Donald Gardner), ‘a no’ (‘een nee’; p.31; English translation: Donald Gardner), ‘long at present longing’ 0-6 (pp.16-23), ‘duizend en één pixel’ (p.36). The project received financial support from the Netherlands Foundation for Literature.

Sightbook: alter ego 1 – Nicky Geneva, Blogger

Visit Nicky Geneva’s blog

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 1 (Nicky Geneva, Blogger), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "Lieve lente lacht" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs

Sightbook: alter ego 2 – Agatha van der Aa, YouTube

Watch Agatha van der Aa’s videos on YouTube

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 2 (Agatha van der Aa, YouTube), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "Vier de stameling" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs

Sightbook: alter ego 3 – Diederik Lamme, Tumblr

Leaf through Diederik Lamme’s notebook on Tumblr

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 3 (Diederik Lamme, Tumblr), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "Who put on my shoes" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs

Sightbook: alter ego 4 – Anna Sherman, Facebook

Become friends with Anna Sherman on Facebook

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 4 (Anna Sherman, Facebook), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "A no" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs

Sightbook: alter ego 5 – Paul Wittema, Twitter

Follow Paul Wittema on Twitter

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 5 (Paul Wittema, Twitter), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "Duizend en één pixel" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs

Sightbook: alter ego 6 – Marc Thompson, Instagram

Follow Marc Thompson on Instagram

Zichtboek: Alter Ego 6 (Marc Thompson, Instagram), Cox & Grusenmeyer op basis van het gedicht "Long at present longing" uit de bundel gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) door Rozalie Hirs


Geluksbrenger – book launch

Rozalie Hirs: Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Querido, 2008). Poetry: Rozalie Hirs. Book design: Michaël Snitker

On November 27, 2008, the launch party for the new poetry collection Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Querido, 2008) by Rozalie Hirs takes place, with performances by Jaap Blonk, Geert Buelens, Rozalie Hirs and the Jackson Mac Low Band. Mirjam van Hengel, poetry editor for Querido, presents the first copy to the poet. The event is hosted by Joost Baars.

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, Remko Spaan, Luisterhuis, Interactive song cycle, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Daniela Seel, Cox & Grusenmeyer, Michaël Snitker, The listening house, 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