January 19, 2023

Luuk Gruwez (Belgium / writes in Dutch) 1953

Luuk Gruwez (Belgium / writes in Dutch)



Born in Kortrijk, Belgium on August 9, 1953, Luuk Gruwez attended high school at the Damiaancollege and graduated in German philology at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven. In 1976 he moved from his nave Kortrijk to Hasselt, where he lived as a teacher before being granted a writer's scholarship.

     His debut collection, Stofzuigergedichten (Vacuum Cleaner Poetry) was published in 1973, a book with special emphasis on the orality of his writing. Indeed, Gruwez is sometimes described more as a singer than as an artist. His poetry, represented in several volumes, is a plea for sensuality, daring to be different and calling for emotional courage and lyricism.

     Along with poets such as Miriam Van hee, he is often considered one of the major representatives of New Romanticism, a literary trend that injected new life into Flemish poetry in the late 1970s.

     Among is several books are Ach, wat zacht geliefkoos om een mild verdriet (Oh, Such a Soft Caress because of a Mild Sadness, 1977), De feestelijke verliezer (The Festive Loser, 1985), Dikke mensen (Fat People, 1990), Vuile manieren (Filty Manners, 1995), Bandeloze gedichten (1996), Allemansgek (Everyman's fool, 2004), and Lagerwal (Lee shore, 2008). In 1995 he won the Hugues C. Pernath Prize for Vuile manieren and in 2009 Gruwez won the Herman de Connick Prize for his poem "Moeders."

     Gruwez also writes stories and, with fellow-author Eriek Verpale, has compiled collections of letters.

     Of his poetry, the poet himself has observed: "When I started out as a poet, I was a dandy, often writing about myself. It was a narcissistic me, typical of every self-respecting poet. Slowly, that me developed into a more universal we."


—Douglas Messerli with Tom Van de Voorde




Stofzuigergedichten (Brugge: Orion-DDB, 1973); Ach, wat zacht geliefkoos om een mild verdriet (Brugge: Orion-DDB, 1977); Een huis om dakloos in te zijn (Antwerpen/Amsterdam: Manteau, 1981); De feestelijke verliezer (Antwerpen/Amsterdam: Manteau); Dikke mensen (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 1990); Vuile manieren (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 1994); Bandeloze gedichten; bloemlezing uit de poëzie van Vuile manieren (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 1996); Dieven en geliefden (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 2000); Allemansgek (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 2004); Psilo (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 2007); Lagerwal (Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 2008); Garderobe (2010);  Cosas perdidas (2010)  



POETRY IN ENGLISH Tom Van de Voorde, ed. Poets from Flanders: Luuk Gruwez (Antwerp: Flemish Literature Fund, n.d.)


For a selection of his poems, go here:


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