Apr 5, 10:28
ZUTPHEN – During a festive afternoon last Saturday in the Burgerzaal, the Ida Gerhardt Poetry Prize 2022 was awarded to Anne Vegter. She won the prize for her collection of poetry Big Data.
By Emy Vesseur
Jury members Maria Barnas and Onno Kosters chose Vegter’s poetry collection from 140 entries. The jury wrote in its report: ‘In Anne Vegter’s Big Data, anger is transformed into a powerful and inquisitive voice such as it has never sounded before. Vegter’s language universe is unique. She knows how to seduce, comfort, beat around the bush and conquer a place of her own with language. Vegter knows how to make strength out of contradictions and blows the reader away with swings between tenderness and rage, hesitation and wisdom.’ Other nominees were Erik Bindervoet with The dream of eb ink animal feed (De Harmonie), Charlotte Van den Broeck with Aarduitwrijvingen (De Arbeiderspers), Maarten van der Graaff with Nederland in pieces (Pluim) and Sasja Janssen with Virgula (Querido).
Two previous nominations
Anne Vegter received the prize of 1,000 euros together with a bronze statue of Ida Gerhardt from mayor Annemieke Vermeulen. In her speech, the mayor mentioned how Zutphen and literature have been linked for 500 years, starting with the incunabula in the Walburgiskerk. Vegter, who had already been nominated for the prize in 2008 and 2012, but did not win it, was visibly happy. Family, friends, fellow poets and people from Querido publishing house were present to celebrate winning the prize with a dinner afterwards. Even Vegter’s 95-year-old father had come from Epe and sat in a chair at the front among the audience.
The organization of the event was for the first time in the hands of Stichting Literair Zutphen. The Zutphen poet Tim Pardijs acted as host and led the afternoon smoothly. The performances by baritone Michael Wildering and pianist Daan Boertien were wonderful. They performed texts by Ida Gerhardt set to music by composer Rosasharn as classical songs. The performance by guest poet Arjen Duinker, who read from his own work, was very entertaining. Rap poet Hagar Peeters, however, did not attend. Of course the collections of poetry were not missing: Herman Krans of Boekhandel Van Someren & Ten Bosch was present with a table full of poetry by the poets involved.
25th year of death
The presentation of the Ida Gerhardt Poetry Prize 2022 is memorable in several respects. It was the first time since 2016. In 2020, the prize was won by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, but the planned award ceremony could not take place due to corona. And the prize winner in 2018, Menno Wigman, died shortly after the award.
In addition, 2022 will be the 25th anniversary of Ida Gerhardt’s death. In 1998, a year after her death, her literary legacy was transferred to the Municipal Archives of Zutphen and the biennial poetry prize named after her was established. Anne Vegter is the twelfth poet to have won it.