|Member of Society of Arts|
Anne Vegter (born in 1958), the Poet Laureate of the Netherlands, began her career writing children’s books such as De dame en de neushoorn (The Lady and the Rhinoceros) and Verse bekken (Fresh Mouths). Her first collection of poetry, Het Veerde (It Sprang), appeared in 1991. In 1994 she published her first collection of short stories for adults, Ongekuiste versie (Raw Version), and she has also written for the stage. In all her work, she writes in the same springy, free, lively style.
In January, she succeeded Ramsey Nasr as the Netherlands’ Poet Laureate, the first woman to hold this title. She is using her position to address the issue of freedom of thought and imagination and to show how poetry can be placed in a broader context and made useful for society. At the same time, however, she believes in the value of the useless. By the end of her term as Poet Laureate in 2017, she would like poetry lessons to be a mandatory subject in every secondary school curriculum. As a poet, Vegter is part of wider society; she is a teacher, sits on juries, and speaks out in the media. She has received a number of major prizes for her work, including the Anna Blaman Prize, the Woutertje Pieterse Prize , and the Awater Poetry Prize for Eiland berg gletsjer (Island, Mountain, Glacier), her most recent collection.