Alfred Schaffer has won

the Herman de Coninck Prize 2021

with his collection

Who was I.

The award comes with a cash prize of 7,500 euros.

The jury for the Flemish prize speaks of a "accurate collection" with poems that show both "a keen attention to tangible reality" and "a continuous flight into the dream and the imagination".

The collection is praised for its "sustained search for meaning, for meaning, which is repeated in every poem, courageous and desperate at the same time".

Alfred Schaffer (47) was born in Leidschendam and now lives and works in South Africa.

He will also receive the PC Hooft Prize this spring.

According to the jury of this award, he is a poet who "stands in the midst of this time without blowing with fashion".

The prize, named after the Flemish poet, essayist, journalist and magazine publisher De Coninck (1944-1997), is intended for poets from the Dutch language area.

Previous winners include Eva Gerlach, Radna Fabias and Hannah van Binsbergen.