Arjen Duinker is interviewed in English by David Prater for Cordite magazine. Some snippets and word-bytes:

[Duinker about Delft]

So, I don’t know. Here — there’s one other poet here, living here, at least he says he’s a poet.

Okay. Right.

There are a lot of poets pretending to be, wanting to be a poet, but they’re not. Well, that’s life. No problem. That’s how it is.

About writing and his first book and becoming a poet:

The first one was, ah, well, let’s say a result of eight years trying to write poetry and convincing myself that it might be poetry that I was writing, you know. In the end, I thought … after a few years I thought my god, this could be poetry, eventually. Well, who knows? You know, and this goes on and on and on, and I started really liking it and, well, at least maybe getting some experience in writing.

Of course there’s also the element of comparison, when you read stuff written by others and you read your own stuff, you can reach this point of saying very happily, facing yourself: my god, this is good, this is actually very, very good.

When asked about traveling:

The thing is, I like to be here, at home, and I like to go places, but not all the time. I feel very, very comfortable here, in my place. Now and then, okay, a trip to wherever, that’s good. But no, no — I really like to be here, I do my writings here, I hardly ever write when I’m travelling. Of course, one sees things, one hears new things, okay — but that doesn’t make me write poetry.

(Reminiscent of Gilles Deleuze who did not like traveling either (forgive me for not providing a reference), but who in his writing was also always on the move).

Ah, yes, Google to the rescue: here a nice few lines by K-Punk addressing this point:

I have always been delighted by Deleuze’s disdain for ‘travelling’. Deleuze talks of ‘Oedipus in the colonies’ : i.e. the westernized subject wandering the globe and projecting its own neuroses onto the rest of the planet, which serves as their unwitting backdrop. The only travels worth making, Deleuze rightly insists, are intensive journeys – not voyages of the self, but voyages out of the self.

Arjen Duinker speaks with such wonderful and simple joy, as if it surprises even himself. As if things are always new (and aren’t they?), falling together even when they do not fit, happening as if this was the way they were going to happen. No traces to be found of the didactic, the recondite, the pretentiously profound, the uppity pooha.

Well, for this moment, yes — I just finished the book that’s out now. It’s over 200 pages long. My god, I’m fed up with myself for at least a few weeks, a month! But I’m doing collaborations, writing with a Slovenian poet, another one with a Brazilian poet. And then I want to write four plays, and I’m planning to write a script for a movie. And, of course, now and then despite myself I will write a poem, a simple [laughs]…


Yes, something like that — it’s inevitable. I think that’s about it.

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