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Dominique De Groen

Dominique De Groen

Dominique De Groen

(België, 1991)
Shop Girl is een opmerkelijk debuut omdat de bundel nogal afwijkt van hetgeen poëzielezers in de lage landen gewoonlijk onder poëzie verstaan. Dit zijn geen teksten over alledaagse ervaringen of persoonlijke kwesties, deze teksten vormen een kritische analyse van de laat-kapitalistische economie. Zelfs de cover is in dat opzicht symboisch: de titel wordt voorzien van het trade mark-teken en het ISBN-nummer staat prominent als subtitel afgedrukt, alsof De Groen wil zeggen dat zelfs een economie-kritische bundel als deze deel uitmaakt van de 'markt'.
Dominique De Groen worked for a time at Primark, the cheapest clothing discount store in the world. The poems zoom in on a self who, inside the economic process of a devastating global capitalism, has been reduced to a will-less link in the chain from production to consumption.

No, you can take me out of the checkout zone
but you can’t take the checkout zone out of me.
The shop floor sticks to my insides,
absorbs everything it touches.

Pumped so full I don’t need the internet anymore
I’m already worldwide.          
[Tr. Jonathan William Beaton]
Checkout Zone

In eight long poems, De Groen ties together several fragments in exhaustive fashion . Her repetitions not only place the daily round into perspective, they also demonstrate the self-conscious speaker's lack of control. Mingling routine and consciousness, De Groen fabricates a bizarre, but very recognizable reality. And her analysis goes beyond the clothing industry. She follows the devastating results of economical thinking down to to a grain of sand in the Far East. In this way, thie collection also offers an ecological point of view, warning that human kind had better think about how it deals with the raw materials of nature and earth.

The almost clinical, marketing-inspired language in these texts seems to counteract the ambition of the poet to convince people of her point of view, but at the same time such use of language enhances the impact and the intensity of what is written. The fact that the reader after a while experiences a feeling of distance, repetitiveness and redundancy is incorporated into De Groen's  poetical praxis. The reader is estranged not only from routine life, but also the routine practice of poetry reading.

Dominique De Groen is Executive Shop Girl at Poetry™. Her work has been published in a variety of literary magazines. Shop Girl was in the running for the Poetry Debut Prize.
© Patrick Peeters
Shop Girl. Het Balanseer, Gent, 2017.

Website van Dominique De Groen

Uitgever van Dominique De Groen
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère