Maria Barnas

Netherlands


When it begins to snow, it snows all the times I can remember when snowflakes were swirling down from heaven. I see myself standing on the deck of a boat, in the middle of the sea. Only the boat becomes white. The sea remains dark grey. I see all the times that I thought that a new world was beginning, in the silent, untrodden snow. It is snowing. And it is snowing images from the past. Snow is falling, and written snow is falling. Snow is falling, in thick, unwieldy flakes, from my mouth.

Maria Barnas

Maria Barnas (1973) is a poet and visual artist. Both in her written work (including novels, poetry and essays) and in her visual work she works with the idea how description (de)forms reality. The poetry of Maria Barnas forms an introspective collection of observations and experiences, with a wide range of descriptions - from 'what one generally fears', to precise children, rejected psychiatrists and our limited understanding of the universe - showing contemporary life and society in a stark yet unusual light.
The use of language is controlled. The individual poems cover a wide range of form registers but together create thematic and stylistic unity. The imagery is powerful and evocative, and has a unique, lucid quality.
Barnas was awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize for her first collection of poetry Twee Zonnen (2003) and has since published highly appraised collections. Her latest collection of poems Jaja de oerknal ('Yeah-Right the Big Bang'), came out in 2013. This book, focusing on mechanisms of fear, was nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize 2014, the Anna Bijns Prijs, as well as the Belgian KANTL prize. 

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