Staan in die algemeen nader aan vensters | Poetry & Poetry Anthologies
Eugène Marais Prize (2009)
University of Johannesburg Debut Prize (2009)
Ingrid Jonker Prize (2009)
Protea Prize for Poetry (2009)
South African Literary Award for Poetry (2010)
In this debut collection the four separate living spaces of a speaker’s voice are developed poetically. The student town, the suburb, the city, as well as the countryside are explored, in ways that are sometimes playful, sometimes intimate, and the interconnectedness of space and identity is slowly set out for the reader.
In all these spaces the biggest binding factor is the omnipresence of art, and specifically the gaze of the poet. But it is not a standard collection in the traditional sense of the word. Here the poetic tradition is also rebelled against, whilst at the same time there is an appreciation of classic influences. Staan in die algemeen nader aan vensters is a collection full of complex energy. Marais plays with voices that are at times both lyrical and bitter, sombre and comical, nostalgic and ultra-contemporary: from a redrafting of the poetically stereotyped Karoo landscape to the pseudo-tragic musings of a garden gnome.
These are youthful, original poems that charge the commonplace with meaning and magic in strongly graphic ways.
“A collection of poems in which Marais successfully displays his considerable poetic talents.” – Andries Visagie
“This collection attests to depth of content, thematic variety, cautious structuring and technical skill. Language purists and other moralists will choke, and while they are choking and collapsing they will miss the poet’s articulateness and variations in style: informal, formal, reverent, ironic, alluring, questioning, shocking, intimate, enraged, sober, evocative – you name it. It attests to creativity and skill.” – Ronel Foster
“The single greatest virtue of these poems is that they combine a fresh and original view of an extended range of issues with a particularly powerful command of words and a well-developed graphic ability. The publication of this work will send a clear signal that in its intimate whisperings and its ability to enrapture linguistically Afrikaans also has a kind of hope for the future, and that in country where the brutalisation of emotional life is the order of the day.” – Marlene van Niekerk