Poetry International Poetry International

Albertina Soepboer

Albertina  Soepboer

Albertina Soepboer

(The Netherlands, 1969)
Albertina Soepboer was born in the small town of Holwerd in the Dutch province of Friesland. She now lives in Groningen, where she first studied Romance languages and cultures and then Frisian literature. She writes poetry in both Frisian and Dutch, and has so far published five collections of poems in Frisian and two in Dutch. A book of Dutch translations of her two Frisian collections De stobbewylch (The Pollard Willow, 2000) and It nachtlân/Het nachtland (The Night Country, 1998) was published in 2003; the book includes the original poems in Dutch from the latter collection.
In her early collections, Soepboer showed herself a sensitive researcher of the female identity, displaying her exceptional talent for powerful earthy, sensory images. In her recent work she actually continues her research, while broadening her thematic range. In her collection It nachtlân/Het nachtland she explores, in a close-knit chain of poetic sequences, the meaning of elementary spheres of life, focussing in particular on the language carrying that meaning. She pays special attention to the complexity of a bilingual situation, for instance in a poem like ‘Hermans huis’ (Herman’s House), where she uses alternating Dutch and Frisian stanzas.

The triptych ‘Woartels’ (Roots), which Albertina Soepboer read at the Poetry International Festival in 2003, was taken from It nachtlân/Het nachtland. In this triptych a woman returns to her country of origin. She signals the pain of growing up, but also the pain of being alienated from one’s native country and language. In addition, she read a cycle from her collection De fjoerbidders (The Fire Worshippers) that appeared in 2003, singing of a lost love in dark, sober images, and finally her poem ‘Moeder Spin’ (Mother Spider), a moving account of how a woman accommodates the adult and the child within herself.
© Jabik Veenbaas (Translated by Ko Kooman)
[The original version of this text was written for the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2003; minor changes were made by Thomas Möhlmann.]



Gearslach, Frysk & Frij, 1995
De twirre yn ’e tiid, Frysk & Frij, 1997
De hengstenvrouw, Prometheus, 1997
It nachtlân/Het nachtland, De Oare útjouwerij, 1998
De stobbewylch, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2000
De dieptering, Passage, Gorredijk, 2001
Het nachtland/De knotwilg, Contact, Amsterdam, 2003; Dutch translation by Jabik Veenbaas
De Fjoerbidders, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2003
Zone, Contact, Amsterdam, 2005
Kearsinne, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2006

Krystman, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2003
De komst fan Sint Anthonius, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2005
Reistiid, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2008

Soepboer also writes plays for Theater De Citadel in Groningen
        Plays (Selection)
De Grutte Stoarm, Bornmeer, Gorredijk, 2005
De Witte Slang, Contact, Amsterdam, 2008

Mari-Marietta (a children’s book by Maite Gonzalez Esnal, translated in to Frisian; Koperative Utjowerij, 1998)


In Dutch:
Soepboer’s homepage
Soepboer on VPRO
A film of Soepboer at Poetry International Festival 2003

In English, Dutch and Frisian:
Information on Soepboer on the website of the Frisian Historical and Literary Centre.  (Tresoar)
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère