July 31, 2011

Hans Faverey

Hans Faverey [b. Surinam/Netherlands]

Born in Paramaribo, Surinam on September 14, 1933, Hans Faverey moved to Amsterdam and a child and lived there until his death in 1990.

For most of his life Faverey worked as a clinical psychologist, but in his free time, when not writing poetry, Faverey played the harpsichord, composing music for it as well. He also lectured at the psychology department of the Universiteit Leiden.

In 1953, while traveling on the Croatian coast, he met his wife-to-be, the Croatian poet and literary scholar, Lela Zečković.

His first published book was Gedicten of 1968, for which he received the Amsterdam Poetry Award, followed by Gedicten 2 four years later. Faverey's achievement was truly realized in his third book, Chrysanten, roeirs (Chrysanthemums, Rowers) published in 1977, which won the prestigious Jan Campert Award and put his works, in the minds of some Dutch readers, in the same league with Gerrit Kouwenaar and Lucebert, poets of the "Fiftiers" generation who influenced Faverey's work.

Eight major books followed, creating what critics and readers often spoken of as a intense and densely constructed series of musical and sometimes hermetic poems. His fame grew, nonetheless, and he is now recognized as one of the major contemporary Dutch poets.

Faverey was awarded the Constantijn Huygens Prize of his entire oeuvre the year of his death.


Gedicten (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1968); Gedichten 2 (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1972); Chrysanten, roeiers (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1977); Lichtva (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1978); Gedichten (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1980); Zijden Kettingen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1983); Hinderlijke goden (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1985; Tegen het vergeten (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1988); Het ontbrokene (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1990); Verzamelde gedichten (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1993); Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000)


Against the Forgetting: Selected Poems, trans. by Francis R. Jones (London: Anvil Press, 1994); Against the Forgetting: Selected Poems, trans. and updated by Francis R. Jones (New York: New Directions, 2004)

For a poem, "Exorcism," click below:

For a tape on the life of the poet in Dutch, click below:

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