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How to live in difficult times

The Blood Spot

Paul Demets

Paul Demets made his debut as a poet in 1999 with the remarkable collection ‘The Parrot Disease’. This volume was awarded the Poetry Prize of the Province of East-Flanders and nominated for the C. Buddingh’ Prize. His second book, ‘Fear of the Bouquet’, was published by DRUKsel, a small Flemish bibliophile press, in 2002. Paul Demets’ most recent volume, ‘The Blood Spot’, was published in 2011 and awarded the Herman De Coninck Prize, making him known to a larger audience.

About this poetry, we will not run out of themes to talk about
De Volkskrant

It is hardly a surprise when we encounter a quote from Zygmunt Bauman's ‘Liquid Times’ or Jacques Lacan's "ça parle" at the beginnings of Demets' poetic cycles. His poetry is very much aware that language constitutes both the individual and the society in which a human being lives. His poetry questions the social and ethical dimensions, and resulting dilemmas, of modern society and time. In a world without fixed points to hold onto, the search for the self and the longing for interaction with the other ground Demets’ poems. His themes are the body, identity and the preservation of the self in an ever-threatening and unstable world; his forms are the ellipse, unusual grammar and syntax, mirroring and doubling.