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Poet Profile: Véronique Scheyvaerts

"As a non-native speaker of English I'm very pleased that an excerpt of my prose poem Have a great life, unless you've made other plans has made it to the album 11 Whispers. My name is Véronique Scheyvaerts, born in 1982, married with two kids, and living in Belgium. I'm a kindergarten teacher and hold a master's degree in Dutch and English literature from the University of Antwerp. I also administer the literary blog All Things Joyce and Wilde on Facebook and Instagram. So, no coincidence that James Joyce's Giacomo Joyce inspired me to write a literary work that starts from the idiosyncratic interplay between prose and poetry. Have a great life, unless you've made other plans - translated from the Dutch original Ik wens je het allerbeste, maar niet met mij - explores the limits of unrequited love, and has prose as a starting point for lyrical explorations of a broad spectrum of feelings.

James Joyce has always been a source of inspiration to me. His literature is at the same time very simple and utterly difficult. He plays with language against the background of the most authentic of life styles: it's all about finding means to describe the complexities of daily thoughts, and the dreams of every night. And that's what I try to do while writing: trying to put my impressions and feelings into words. As such I'm working on a set of short stories (in Dutch) about people who are all connected genetically, although only aware of their relational connections. Writing is my therapy, and I never realised how well it would be received by others until I shared my first literary works. Being an author is courageous, because you're putting yourself out there, and at the same time very rewarding. Write what you feel, put your impressions into words and never hesitate to share it with the world."

Here is the extract from Véronique's prose poem that was chosen as track number nine for the 11 Whispers poetry album:


We can take the train together. We have to go in the same direction anyway. My phone number in case you can't make it. I sat down at the window, against the direction of travel. There were benches and there were a few of us. He sat down opposite me. The line had been drawn anyway and the whole ride I watched that imaginary thread between us bobbing along to the rhythm of the tracks. It felt casual. We strolled through the galleries and took in the city. After a while, I dragged the line behind me like a thread, constantly resisting the urge to let it go.

We can take the train together

I'll give you my number just in case

There were many of us

I sat down with my back to later

He faced me

The line between us

rocking to the rhythm of the tracks

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