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A fascinating journey into poetry

The Trip to Inframundo

Peter Holvoet-Hanssen

Peter Holvoet-Hanssen’s trilogy ‘Houdini’s Straitjacket’ (1998), ‘Strombolicchio’ (1999) and ‘Santander’ (2001) were a fresh wind blowing across the Flemish poetic landscape. Emulating Houdini, he stretched boundaries and wriggled out of manacles, all while alluding to the accepted constraints of the poetic form. Peter Holvoet-Hanssen calls himself an ambassador of the ‘active ingredient’, and he is never afraid of bringing together all life’s extremes in his adventurous poetry. He combines highbrow with lowbrow, the inaccessible with the accessible, humour with emotion, daily routine with insanity. The theatrical and the musical are characteristic of his work, and he is much in demand as a performer at literary events as a result. The diptych ‘Spinalonga’ (2005) and ‘Navagio’ (2008) make a journey into poetry complete.

The wizard of love and downfall

In ‘The Trip to Inframundo’ (2011) Peter Holvoet-Hanssen presents a challenging selection of poems taken from these five collections, and by altering the original chronology and combining poems in new ways he constructs a completely fresh collection in which he follows trails that emerge before fading away. This book will be the starting point of a new journey into poetry.