Els Moors

Belgium

Els Moors (Poperinge, 1976) is a Flemish poet and novelist. Her debut Er hangt een hoge lucht boven ons (There is a tall sky above us; 2006) was nominated for the C. Buddingh’-prize and was awarded the prestigious Herman de Coninck prize for best poetry debut. Her second collection of poetry, Liederen van een kapseizend paard (Songs of a capsizing horse), was published in 2013 and won the J.C. Bloem price. Moors’ work shows evidence of a strong feeling for composition, both in content and in form. This becomes clear, for example, in her continuing play between vitality and stasis and between horizontality and verticality. Undoubtedly, this strong feeling for composition and the equally sharp provocative nature of the poems are partly the reason why Els Moors is considered as one of the rising stars of Dutch language poetry. In 2008 Els Moors also made her debut as a prose writer with Het verlangen naar een eiland (Longing For An Island), a novel about love, sex and the yearning for the Other. In 2010 she published Vliegtijd, a collection of stories.
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Els Moors (Poperinge, 1976) is a Flemish poet and writer of prose. She made her debut in 2006 with Er hangt een hoge lucht boven ons (There is a tall sky above us), for which she was nominated for the C. Buddingh’ Prize and with which she won the Herman de Coninck prize for the best poetry debut. In 2009, she was part of the poets’ project BOEST. This project, done with several contemporaries such as Andy Fierens, Michaël Vandebril and Christophe Vekemans, gave rise to a literary tour, an anthology and an LP. The wait for her second collection, Liederen van een kapseizend paard (Songs of a capsizing horse), lasted until 2013. With this collection, Moors won the J.C. Bloem Prize.

On a first reading of the poems of Els Moors, the reader is struck by the apparently airy tone. On a closer reading, however, the slightly absurd universe that she creates in her poems contains quite a few threatening elements. The poems are populated by rats in the underwear drawer, dogs with eye patches and limping urban pigeons. The world that Els Moors observes and analyses in her poems is far from innocent. The commitment that Moors already expresses in a less concrete manner in her debut collection is made explicit in Liederen van een kapseizend paard in a cycle of socially critical poems, amongst other things about the refugee crisis in Europe.

A second important theme in the poetry of Els Moors is physicality. In her poems, there is quite a lot of copulating, alone or in pairs. No plain vanilla sex for Moors though, but stiff pricks and fucking rabbits. The physicality in her poetry does not lead to harmony and intimacy, but rather reflects a vain striving for a better knowledge of the world and the other. The jury for the J.C. Bloem Prize described it as follows: With shimmering, sweltering and abrasive language, Els Moors is trying to get a handle on love, physicality and the complexity of what is nearest. [...] With these poems, Moors shows herself a master of the methodology of seduction and rejection.

However unsettling the poems of Els Moors may be substantively, in terms of form, Els Moors succeeds in imparting to her poems an understated, yet still almost compelling rhythm, by means of a subtle use of interior and end rhyme, repetition and variation.

In 2008, the first novel by Els Moors was published: Het verlangen naar een eiland (Longing for an island), a novel about love, sex and desire for the other. In 2010, she published the collection Vliegtijd (Flying time), consisting of three stories and a letter.