Gerda Blees (1985) made her début in 2017 with the short story collection Aan doodgaan dachten we niet (We Didn’t Think About Dying) and published her first collection of poetry less than one year later titled Dwaallichten (Will-o’-the-wisp). Both were released by the publisher Podium. The stories received favourable reviews and Blees was awarded the C.C.S. Crone Fellowship, a grant from the Utrecht Municipality for worthy authors. Her poems were also well received. Het Friesch Dagblad newspaper wrote, “Just like her prose, her poetry offers a unique take on human existence.” Dwaallichten is about the human need to understand the unknown. This is a universal topic that Blees has put down on paper in a unique and melodic way.
“One morning Gerda Blees sat opposite me to read out two tales from her story collection Aan doodgaan dachten we niet. She chose ‘Echt vakwerk’ (Real Craftsmanship) and ‘Jonathan kiest zijn ellebogen’ (Jonathan Chooses His Elbows). Blees read them out to me as if she didn’t care. The stories made a great impression on me. (…) The collection could also have been called We Didn’t Think About Judging. Maybe judging is a form of dying. I would say read it for yourself.” Arnon Grunberg in his Voetnoot column in De Volkskrant newspaper.