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Poet

Jacob Groot

Jacob Groot

Jacob Groot

(The Netherlands, 1947)
Biography
Jacob Groot (Venhuizen, 1947) has been publishing poetry, prose and essays since 1970. His first volume of poetry, Net Als Vroeger (As of Old), which was published under the nom-de-plume Jacob der Meistersänger, formed a generous break with the spirit of the times. In his subsequent collections, he continued in this vein, with his poetry surrendering, in a manner that was increasingly plain-spoken in tone and aspiration, to what one might best describe as the disclosure of language and reality.
Disclosure: this is what writing poetry means for Groot. It is not, however, any divulgence of the secrets or mysteries that might lurk or be at play behind reality. Groot does not solve riddles, but he is merciless in compelling us to share reality as it occurs to him – uncensored, unabashed and often enough unpleasant. He wages a publicity campaign for the exaltation of the ordinary – he is a mystic of the banal, and his poetry seems to in particular to aim to initiate us into that world.

In Divina Noir (2010), he creates soundbites of noises and voices, of street-talk, of sex, of jokes, of whimsy, of films he saw as a boy and did not recognise back then, of promises and disasters. In his most recent collection Verlies me niet (2018), Groot seeks answers to the ample question: what does it mean to lose somebody? Groot’s poetry is impudent and self-referential; one moment it might invoke great laughs, and the next the opposite – euphoria and almost religious rapture.

Language for Groot is no illustration but rather an intervention and a realisation. In his poetry nothing is certain; there is no safety net or lifebuoy. He inverts every assertion, including the most intimate or exalted, or else he causes it to vanish in a jumble of apparent banalities. The poetry of Jacob Groot can be read as both redemption and revelation.
© Kees ’t Hart (updated by Fleur Jeras) (Translated by Donald Gardner)
Bibliography

Poetry
Net als vroeger, Thomas Rap, Amsterdam, 1970 (pseudoniem: Jacob der Meistersänger)
Uit de diepten, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1972
Op komst, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1975
De droom van het denken, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1980
Leeg, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1980
De liefste, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1981
Topgeluk, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1986
Losse schuur, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1993
Natuurlijke liefde, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1998
Zij Is Er, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2002
Heerlijkheid Van Luchtmetaal, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2005
Lofzang, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2009
Divina Noir, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2010
Nieuwe zon: een megagedicht, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2014
Verlies me niet, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2018
 
Novels
De verzoening, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 1983
Billy Doper, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2008
Adam seconde, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2012
Geloof in mij, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2016

Essays
Nieuwe muziek: een Herman Gorter boek, Wetenschappelijke Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 1980
Gelukkige Lippen, De Harmonie, Amsterdam, 2004

Anthology
Hoe de wereld beschreven moet worden, Querido, Amsterdam, 1999 (anthology of world poetry)
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère