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Making the unknown tangible

Nothing that Says

Patricia de Martelaere

Patricia de Martelaere is especially praised for her philosophical essays and novels, which received several awards. Her poetry is just as extraordinary, collected here in ‘Nothing that Says’, both her first and only work in the genre. This poetry collection consists of, on the one hand, work from her youth that marks, as it were, the start of her career, and on the other of more recently-composed poems.

I have always held her work in high esteem, among other reasons (but certainly not exclusively) because she tackles a number of questions that no serious current writer is able to take on, and does so with an unparalleled clarity and frequent laconic jocularity
Erwin Mortier

Love, insecurity and an endless longing for another are the most prominent themes in the poetry brought together in this anthology that spans 20 years. De Martelaere is not too shy to grapple with big topics, describing them without falling back on clichés, with subtle and restrained imagery and metaphors that leave sufficient space for undertones. Her poetry is compact, powerful and evocative. De Martelaere leaves no aspect of the language unused in order to let the inexpressible sound out in between the lines. The unknown and exciting are always hidden behind the familiar and accessible. The poetry in ‘Nothing that Says’ portrays something that cannot be made tangible in any other way.

Her directness and use of language, the supple and unexpected twists and turns, the often condensed, clear simplicity – it all radiates an enormous power of attraction
Valérie Mannaerts
Flemish literature has lost an essayist of extraordinary talent