(c) martijn de vries
It’s fifty years since Anton Korteweg (1944) made his début in the Dutch literary journal Tirade. Following on from this, he worked for many literary organisations including Poetry International, the P.C. Hooft Prize Foundation and our very own Night of Poetry. He also kept writing, in a style that is characterised by the ironic description of minor events. Korteweg received the A. Roland Holst-Penning award for his oeuvre in 1986. Het leven deugt. Althans op onderdelen (Life Is Great. Sometimes at Least), a collection of poems in which he sensitively addresses the topic of old age once again, was published in 2017. He is optimistic, but at the same time, realistic. Life may be great in parts, but as a whole, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
“Evert gave me a fantastic book yesterday called Ouderen zijn het gelukkigst (Old People are the Happiest), the collected poems of Anton Korteweg. (…) They are great because they don’t rhyme.” Hendrik Groen in Zolang er leven is (As Long as There Is Life).