Already in his debut collection ‘Welcome Hygiene’ (1996), Paul Bogaert showed that he wouldn’t shy away from tough love. His poems are written in strong language, he doesn’t mince matters or pull any punches: ‘In this way, my love, I hope to have said: it’s going to hurt. Since then, he has published four more collections. They are all very different from each other but have earned Bogaert the reputation as having one of the most distinctive voices in Dutch language poetry, “because he has such a precise ear for the nuances with which language is consciously or unconsciously laden.”
Witty and vilainousDe Groene Amsterdammer
‘Please’ from 2006 is a collection about giving and taking in which many “other people” pop up, including a lot of uninvited guests. ‘The Slalom Soft’ from 2009 consists of 29 separate poems which also form a single long poem. A lifeguard gets into trouble in a subtropical water park, or is it an office nightmare? “Bogaert presents us with a hell, or worse still: he shows us the world we live in.” His latest collection, ‘Our Desire’ (2013) is a chilling display of all the things people do to each other. Bogaert is not only one of the most modern but also one of the most interesting poets writing at the moment, one who gets under your skin rather than remaining at a distance, on paper.