Words are the Worst: Selected Poems

Erik Lindner
Translated by Francis R. Jones


Born in 1968 in The Hague, Erik Lindner is one of the Netherland’s most acclaimed poets. Admired for a style that fuses simplicity with strangeness, Lindner builds his poems through a montage of descriptive images that, by fending off closure, generate extraordinary visionary power. Gathering together new work with a selection from his previous six collections, Words are the Worst offers a range of pleasures that have made him celebrated in his home country: an austere eloquence; a hard, unsparing precision; a restless and idiosyncratic eye. Best of all is how his intensely filmic observations transform haunted landscapes of windmills, birds, dogs and houseboats on canals into, as one critic put it, “Lindner-like” moments. Brilliantly translated by Francis R. Jones, with an introduction by Canadian poet David O’Meara, Words are the Worst introduces a leading Dutch voice to English readers.

Signal Poetry
Poetry 2021

Erik Lindner is a Dutch poet, writer, and literary critic. His first book of poetry, Tramontane, appeared in 1996. Five more collections have followed, including two novels. His work has been translated into French, German and Italian. Words are the Worst: Selected Poems is his first volume of poetry in English.

Francis R. Jones translates poetry from Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Hungarian, Russian and Dutch. His translations have received many important UK and international awards, and is the only translator to have won the UK's biennial European Poetry Translation Prize twice. Professor of Translation Studies at Newcastle University, Jones lives in rural Northumberland.

David O'Meara lives in Ottawa, Ontario. He is the author of four collections of poetry and a play, Disaster. He's been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the ReLit Prize, the Trillium Book Award, a National Magazine Award, four Rideau Awards, and he won the Archibald Lampman Award twice. His most recent book is A Pretty Sight (Coach House, 2013).
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