Persvrystelling: Karin Schimke wen die 2014 Ingrid Jonkerprys vir Engelse poësie

Karin Schimke (foto) wen vanjaar die Ingrid Jonker Prys vir Engelse poësie met haar digdebuut, Bare & breaking (Modjaji 2012). Beverly Rycroft, Liesl Jobson en prof. Geoffrey Haresnape was die beoordelaars.

Bare & breaking is bestempel as ’n bundel wat “kop en skouers uitstaan” bo die ander aanspraakmakers in terme van “vakmanskap, tempo, diepte en ’n duidelik gevestigde, robuuste estetika.” Schimke is geprys vir  “die elegansie en presisie van [haar] woordkuns” in ’n digbundel wat gekenmerk word deur “sensualiteit” en inhoud wat as “onbeskaamd eroties en intiem” beskryf is.

Twee van die beoordelaars het Bare & breaking uitgesonder vir die bundel se “interne verhaalboog” oftewel spanningslyn wat die leser meevoer van liefde tot ongemak deur krisis en woede, tot apatie, rou en uiteindelik verlossing – met die digter wat ’n brose plek van veiligheid bereik. Die digter slaag deurgaans daarin om haar private pyn te verbind met universele leed, soos in die sterk slotgedig “The Quiet Way Back”. Die leser word meegesleur deur die storie wat uiteindelik almal insluit in die kollektiewe smart wat ons as eg menslik definieer.

Die Ingrid Jonker Prys word jaarliks beurtelings aan ʼn Afrikaanse of ’n Engelse debuutdigbundel toegeken, die twee tale waarin Ingrid Jonker geskryf het. Die toekenning bestaan uit ’n medalje en kontantbedrag.

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Three judges have returned a resounding verdict that places Karin Schimke as the clear winner of the 2014 Ingrid Jonker Prize for a debut collection of poetry.  In their citations, Bare & breaking (published by Modjaji in 2012) is described as ‘head and shoulders above the other works in terms of craft, pace, depth of content, and having a clearly established and robust aesthetic’.  Schimke is praised for ‘the elegance and precision of [her] craft in a volume marked by ‘sensuousness’ and ‘unapologetically erotic and intimate’ content.

Two judges singled Bare & breaking out for its ‘internal arc’ which takes us from  love and unease through  crisis and fury, to  numbness, grief, and finally, redemption, where the poet  clambers at last to a fragile place of safety. … Throughout, the writer bears in mind the reader, connecting her private pain to a more universal one as in the final poem ‘The Quiet Way Back’. …While carried forward by her story, we are ultimately included in a collective grief that defines us all as human.

This year’s judges were Beverly Rycroft, Liesl Jobson and Professor Geoffrey Haresnape.  Judges of the Ingrid Jonker prize are unaware of one another’s identities until judging is complete.

Karin Schimke will receive her prize at a special event in Cape Town in October.

The Ingrid Jonker Prize is awarded in alternate years to the best debut collection in English or Afrikaans.  The prize consists of a medal by the sculptor Bill Davis and the interest on an amount of money originally donated for this purpose by Ingrid Jonker’s friends at her ‘second funeral’ in 1965.

Danie Marais

(Convenor: Ingrid Jonker Prize Committee)

Modjadji Books, R145.00

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