This book had its fervent admirers, but it also met with resistance. The book from the same publisher that was in the selection last year – Other Evidence: Blindfold – and which then won a Golden Letter in Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt in Leipzig, was cast in the same mould.
It takes courage to create a verse collection in a sans serif type and with flaps that have to be opened before you can get at the contents. At the point halfway through the book block, where the book falls open, we see the portraits of the two poets. Each half of the book is devoted to one of them: there is no alternation of their poems. Each series of poems has the English on the left with the Dutch translation on the facing page. The first series is set in blue, the second in green. The portraits of the poets are in the colour used for their work. The title (it seems not to appear in English anywhere in the book, but can be translated as ‘Contrary Verse. A lyrical diptych of sonnets and other verse’) is apposite, as it is all about two women who played an important role in the literary history of poetry. As both book and document its admirers found it a successful enterprise cast in what for a collection of verse is an unusual form.
The judges for Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt (Best Book Design from all over the World) in Leipzig awarded this book a bronze medal.
Bronze medal Best Book Design from all over the World, Leipzig 2017