Maria Barnas

Initials M.
Main position Dichter
Member of Society of Arts

Maria Barnas (born in 1973) is a celebrated poet, writer and visual artist. In her written and visual output, she explores how descriptions and images form and deform reality. To what extent is our perception defined by our knowledge and language? Is it possible to show how an object and the perception of that object differ?

Barnas is an adviser at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She explores the fine line between science and art, using such methods as the visual essay. In her most recent work, language plays a crucial role in object development. Does language consist of images too? Barnas attempts to give form to the ineffable and has developed objects for alternative communication.

Barnas has published two novels. Her first collection of poetry, Twee zonnen (2003), was awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize. In 2009 she received the J.C. Bloem Prize for Poetry for Er staat een stad op (2007). Jaja de oerknal (2013) was awarded the 2014 Anna Bijns Prize.

Barnas writes for Dutch literary magazine De Gids, for the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, and for national newspaper de Volkskrant. A collection of her essays for national daily NRC Handelsblad (from 2007 to 2010) have been published under the title Fantastisch (2010).