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Sasje Janssen (trans. Michele Hutchison)

I long for a full stop, but my Virgulas are wary
of employing them,
I press them close as though death were breathing down my neck

‘Virgula’, the Latin word for a comma, is what moves thoughts and languages forward and what stops the stillness. In Sasja Janssen’s award-winning collection, the comma becomes much more than a punctuation mark. Virgula is invoked as a muse and a companion; she is called on in every poem, as if she were a goddess, friend or lover, someone who offers space when the emptiness becomes too heavy.

Winner of the Awater Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Ida Gerhardt Poetry Prize, the Herman de Coninck Prize and De Grote Poëzieprijs.

A collection that seizes and halts as much as it compels, gathers and pitches. To what end? To the next gather and pitch, to the relentless harrying of life, its blurts, burps, desires and quandaries. The novelty of Virgula’s thinking, its wild precision, is a constant revolution. It bubbles and swerves, growing new limbs, continually breaking its own remarkable fever.’ – Jack Underwood

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