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“In Vonkt, Marije Langelaar writes unabashedly about physicality, love, femininity, motherhood, divorce and the daily grind. The poet evokes the intangible, mystifying atmosphere of a dream with the clear-cut precision of a butcher’s knife. The result is a collection that shows the ‘cutting edge’ of life. Vonkt roars, blazes, stamps and consoles. Words are ways of being that can transform and ultimately liberate. This collection sees people transform into chairs and deer, ride cats and swallows or start working at the Ministry of Weight and Flickers. With Vonkt, Marije Langelaar has written a collection that moves the soul, a fairy tale grounded in reality, that is both chaotic and precise, with a plethora of images that linger long after the reader has awoken from their literary trance.” VSB Poetry Prize jury report

Vonkt is a collection that sputters and crackles – the sparks of joie de vivre and love of language fly from it.” Jan Campert Prize jury report

“Effervescent and hallucinatory. Physical, lyrical, vital, energizing, alienating, fundamental, challenging, intoxicating. This is total poetry, a collection that unfolds like an outstretched hand: the poet knows infallibly how to steer a path between the marvellous and that which is cast in doubt.” Awater Poetry Prize jury report

“Unbridled daring in language and imagery. The limits of what can be said in a poem and how to say it are not only pursued but nonchalantly and shamelessly defied.” Ons Erfdeel


I have a deep and irresistible urge to experience everything in a very sensual way. To be immensely curious about the earth and all its life forms. To lie on the ground and rub sand and leaves all over me. To descend into the well. Like a novice, drunk on passion. And yes, into everything. Why? Because experience enlivens. I want to make everything come alive.