Peter Verhelst (Belgium, 1962) is a poet and novelist whose debut collection, Obsidiaan, came out in 1987. He has since won several prizes for his poetry collections, prose, and even his entire oeuvre. Verhelst has always possessed an antenna sensitive to the spirit of the time, in poems in which themes such as mortality, stepping outside of reality, and metamorphosis have always played a part. As Patrick Peeters wote after reading Verhelst’s collection Zon: isn’t it remarkable that a poem of Verhelst can make you think thoughts that have never been thought before? Verhelst offers a dissenting voice in a time colored by polarization: in poems which quote right-wing populists, as well as in poems which show how, through music, art and poetry, hope can be stored and passed along.
> Watch his reading at Poetry International Festival 2021:
The Voices of Poetry
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