“Musicality sparkles through all of Bruinja's poems.”
Maria Barnas in De Groene Amsterdammer
“One expects a great deal from a poet who writes verses like these.”
Ilja L. Pfeijffer in NRC Handelsblad
"The musicality and the wealth of association make it a pleasure to read Bruinja's work" - Babs Gezelle Meerburg on Poetryinternational.org
"A tender lyrical poet who is often able to transmute extremely personal experiences into verse that is rich in imagery and highly musical." - Jabik Veenbaas for the Poetry International festival of 2005.
Tsead Bruinja (1974, Rinsumageest / The
Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
He writes poetry, reviews of poetry and has organized several literary events such as the open-air poetry festival Dichters
in de Prinsentuin (Poets in the Prince's garden) in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.
Tsead writes in Dutch and Frisian and has published his work in a number of literary
magazines both in the Netherlands and abroad.
For a period of two years he was a member of the editorial board of the Frisian magazine Hjir. His Frisian debut De
wizers yn it read / The meters in the red (Bornmeer) was published in 2000 followed by his first collection of Dutch poetry Dat het zo hoorde/The way it should be in 2003. Dat het zo hoorde was nominated for the Jo Peters PoëziePrize. Up til now Bruinja has published five collections in Frisian and four in Dutch.
October 2004 witnessed the presentation of a bilingual miscellany that Bruinja compiled in conjunction with Hein Jaap Hilarides: Droom in blauwe regenjas/ Dream yn blauwe reinjas – Nieuwe Friese dichters / Nije Fryske dichters - Dream in a Blue Raincoat / New Frisian Poets.
In 2008 Bruinja was nominated to become the next Poet Laureate of the Netherlands.
More English information and some translations of Bruinja's Frisian poetry can be read at Poetry International Web and Lyrikline.
A short portrait filmed by Heidi Grot of the German international broadcasting company Deutsche Welle can be found here.
Tsead Bruinja has read his work to the following international audiences: De Nachten (Antwerp, Belgium), Zuiderzinnen (Antwerp, Belgium), Het uitzaaiend kaf (Gent, Belgium), Dichter aan huis (Gent, Belgium), The Blue Room (Newcastle, England), The Stanza Festival (St. Andrews, Scotland),
N(o)rdschrift (Bremen, Germany), The Dutch Embassy (Berlin, Germany), Leipzich Book Fair (Leipzich, Germany), Poetry on the Road (Bremen, Germany), Forum des Langues du monde (Toulouse, France), Institút Neerlandais (Paris, France), The Struga Poetry Festival (Struga, Macedonia), The International Poetry Festival (Palembang & Jakarta, Indonesia), Festival Internacional de Poesia de Granada (Granada, Nicaragua) and The Hifa festival (Harare, Zimbabwe).
Translations of Tsead Bruinja's poetry have been published in:
Fragmente - Literary journal.
Ontheemdes Breedevallei Dichters / Poëzienacht van die MUSE - Volume II - red. Lina Spies & Floris Brown. Zuid-Afrika.
AHDAQ - Quarterly cultural magazine of modern literature. No. 3. The Netherlands, Amsterdam: 2004.
Visions International No. 67 - red. Bradley R. Strahan / Claudia Emerson. USA, Fredericksburg.
Mantis - Journal of Poetry, Criticism & Translation. USA, Stanford: spring 2006.
Pratik Literary Journal. Nepal: spring 2006.
Praktik - A magazine of contemporary writing - Vol. XIV No. 1. Nepal
STINT - Zeitschrift für Literatur - No. 27 Sprachen der Liebe. Deutschland, Bremen: 2000.
Park - Zeitschrift für neue Literatur - No. 61. Deutschland, Berlin, Dezember: 2005.
Action Poétique - No. 182. La France, Paris, 2005
Mentor - 1 - 2. Slovenije, Ljubljana, 2006
Two short pieces on the work of Tsead Bruinja in English by Babs Gezelle Meerburg and Jabik Veenbaas:
The musicality and the wealth of association make it a pleasure to read Bruinja's work
by Babs Gezelle Meerburg
“remember there is a land that is part of me where I do not live/ I must return there is a mystery I must engage in// who do I scare where who do I deprive of night/ I make another world with light and proudly present my peep-show”. These lines come from Batterij ( Battery ), published in 2004, the second Dutch-language collection of poetry by the Frisian poet Tsead Bruinja (Rinsumageest, 1974). Prior to this, he already privately published two Dutch-language collections: Vreemdgaan ( Straying ) in 1998, and Startschot ( Starting Shot ), with a number of other poets, in 1999. In 2003, he published the collection Dat het zo hoorde ( Heeding ).
Tsead Bruinja belongs to a new generation of Frisian poets. Just like many other young Frisians, Bruinja writes in both Dutch and Frisian, mirroring the bilingual situation in Friesland. In 2000, he made his debut in Friesland with the collection of poems De wizers yn it read ( The Meter in the Red ). A year later his De man dy't rinne moat ( The Man Who Has to Walk ) appeared, and the third Frisian collection Gegrommel fan satyn ( Snarls of Satin ) was published in 2003.
In addition to being a poet, Bruinja is also active as an anthologist: October 2004 witnessed the presentation of a bilingual miscellany that he compiled in conjunction with Hein Jaap Hilarides: Droom in blauwe regenjas/ Dream yn blauwe reinjas – Nieuwe Friese dichters / Nije Fryske dichters ( Dream in a Blue Raincoat – New Frisian Poets ). At the beginning of 2005, the collection of poems Klotegedichten (Load of Balls) appeared, edited by Bruinja and Daniël Dee. This is a sequel to the anthology Kutgedichten ( Load of Twat ) which appeared in 2004.
Tsead Bruinja currently lives in Amsterdam. He studied English and Frisian and the University of Groningen. The central theme in his Frisian oeuvre is the struggle with his mother tongue, Frisian. He is seeking his roots and involves the reader in this quest: “De holle is my net genôch. Ik bin wer thús oan it kommen yn myn lea. Ik wol graach datst meisjochst” (“The mind alone is not enough for me. I am returning home to my body. I want you to come and see”), he writes in the epilogue to Wizers yn it read. Of course, his quest is not without problems. Bruinja attempts to form the words to his image, but that fails. The language “bliuwt fan wetter/ it oantinken en ik stik/ sawat yn 'e gloarweagen/ de wurden dy't it swimbad/ my yn de mûle triuwt/ gean mei my kopke-ûnder” (remains water/ memories and I almost drown/ in the chlorinated waves/ the words that the swimming pool/ crams into my mouth/ join me in ducking under), as expressed in Gegrommel fan satyn.
The musicality and the wealth of association make it a pleasure to read Bruinja's work, but it is just as pleasant to listen to it and to watch him present it. His performances, either with or without music accompaniment by hip-hop of flamenco musicians, fire the imagination.
Translated by George Hall (http://www.poetryinternational.org/)
A tender lyrical poet who is often able to transmute extremely personal experiences into verse that is rich in imagery and highly musical
by Jabik Veenbaas
Tsead Bruinja (1974) studied English at the University of Groningen. Bruinja is a bilingual poet: he made his debut in 2000 with the Frisian collection De wizers yn it read (The meters in the red), since when he has published three Frisian and two Dutch collections of poetry. The titles of the two latest are Dat het zo hoorde (The way it should be, 2003), which was nominated for the Jo Peterspoëzieprijs, and Batterij (Battery, 2004). In addition, he has also compiled a number of anthologies. In 2004, together with his colleague Hein Jaap Hilarides, he published the bilingual collection Dream yn blauwe reinjas/Droom in blauwe regenjas (Dream in a Blue Raincoat), which contains a selection from the work of new Frisian poets.
Bruinja has built up a reputation as a performer. He often appears with musicians, such as Jaap van Keulen (a flamenco guitarist) or Michiel Rasker (trance/hip hop/sound scapes) in order to bring out with maximum effect the power of his work. As a member of the musical-literary group Gewassen he received a Hendrik de Vries grant in 2002 from the municipality of Groningen.
In his debut collection De wizers yn it read Bruinja revealed himself as a tender lyrical poet who is often able to transmute extremely personal experiences into verse that is rich in imagery and highly musical. By joining together sentences or parts of sentences without punctuation as well as by an effective use of enjambement, he proved able to turn his poems into forceful, intense wholes. A fine example is his poem ‘fjouwerjend kaam er út syn lêste dream' (‘He galloped out his final dream'). The images in this poem, which in themselves bear witness to an inventive spirit, tumble over each other with great agility, together forming an extremely fragile and sensitive portrait.
In his recent work, Bruinja reveals to an increasing extent just how adventurous his writing is. He seems to break language down into its primary elements and then to join them together in his own wilful way. In this way, poems emerge that create a highly suggestive and spontaneous impression. The reader imagines himself in a smithy: he sees how the iron is forged into new shapes. It has been said about Bruinja's recent poetry that with its fragmentary composition, it bears witness to the age of television. You could also say that it is created out of a deep realisation that our experience has become fragmented.
Translated by John Irons (http://www.poetryinternational.org/)
Dat het zo hoorde (Contact, 2003)
Batterij (Contact, 2004) Frisian poetry
De wizers yn it read (Bornmeer, 2000)
De man dy't rinne moat (Bornmeer, 2001)
Gegrommel fan satyn (Bornmeer, 2003)
Gers dat alfêst laket (Bornmeer, 2005)
Poems on CD
Zingo Poetry Slam – Het beste van drie jaar Poetry Slam in Nederland (Vassallucci & De Wintertuin, 2004)
Anthologies by Tsead Bruinja and others
Kutgedichten - Collected by Daniël Dee and Tsead Bruinja (Passage, 2004)
Droom in blauwe regenjas / Dream yn blauwe reinjas. Nieuwe Friese dichters / Nije Fryske dichters
Collected by Hein Jaap Hilarides and Tsead Bruinja (Contact & Bornmeer, 2004)
Klotengedichten - Collected by Daniël Dee and Tsead Bruinja (Passage, 2005)
Websites on Tsead Bruinja
A short MTV promo on Tsead Bruinja as well as a musical performance with Tanja van Susteren (flamenco dance) en Jaap van Keulen (live percussion/samples) and more.
Audio of readings and translations of Tsead Bruinja's work on Lyrikline
More performances with and without musicians
Page dedicated to the work of Tsead Bruinja with English translation on Poetry International Web