TSEAD BRUINJA IS A DUTCH POET. HE MADE HIS DEBUT IN
2000 WITH THE FRISIAN LANGUAGE COLLECTION CALLED
THE METERS IN THE RED. IN A CANDID INTERVIEW WITH
INDYANA TSEAD TALKS ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE IN INDIA WHEN
HE HAD TRAVELLED TO HYDERABAD TO TAKE PLACE IN THE
CITY’S LITERARY FESTIVAL IN THE YEAR 2015.
Bruinja’s debut in the Dutch
language, Dat het zo horde (The way
it should sound), was published in
2003, and was nominated for the Jo
Peters Poetry Prize the following
year. Bruinja compiles anthologies – incl uding the
famous Kutgedichten (Twat Poems) and the
anthology Droom in Blauweregenjas – nieuwe
Friesedichters (Dream in a Blue Raincoat – new
Frisian poets) – writes critical reviews, hosts
literary events and performs in the Netherlands and
abroad, often with musician Jaap van Keulen and
occasionally with the flamenco dancer Tanja van
Susteren. His most recent collections are
Overwoekerd (Overgrown; 2010), and Angel
(Hook; 2008). The latter was published in
newspaper form and appeared as a free download
on a Dutch literary blog. Within a month it had
been downloaded 2000 times.
QSince when did you start writing poetry?
I started writing poetry when I was about 13.
QHow has verses influenced your life?
They have made me think in a more musical
way and made me aware of the way my brain
works. I think the free associative part of our brain
is very important and can tell us some things that
the more rational or calculative mind is unable to.
QWhat was your academic background and
how did the interest grow?
I studied English at the Rijks Universiteit
Groningen. My main interests were American
literature. I have a BA degree.
QTell us a bit about your India trip. How was
the Hyderabad Literary festival? How did you
feel being a part of it…
I enjoyed the Hyderabad Literary Festival, but
the best part for me was working with poets from
Switzerland, India, Portugal and Wales for a whole
week. We translated each other’s work as part of a
Literature Across Frontiers program.
QYour travails in India…
Besides readings in Hyderabad we also read in
Delhi and Bangalore. I enjoyed all three place,
especially the historical sights, the food and
meeting local people. People were very friendly. I
did have a bit of trouble getting used to the big
crowds and the busy traffic.
QYour association with poetry and world
As a poet I have travelled to festivals in
Macedonia, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Indonesia,
Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Wales, France, The
Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and Belgium. Meeting
poets from all over the world and travelling to and
through these countries have made them a lot more
tangible and less abstract to me. I guess travelling
makes you think about unnecessary
QYour published works so far… have you
translated your works in any other language?
My work has been translated into Afrikaans,
Arabic, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish,
French, Polish and a lot of other languages.