Charles Ducal 




Charles Ducal 

photo © private
* 03.04.1952, Leuven, Belgium
lives in: , Belgium

It isn’t often that a pig farmer writes poetry, but Flanders has an extraordinary poet-farmer. To fellow farmers he is known as Frans Dumortier, to fellow poets as Charles Ducal. In Ducal’s universe pigs, God, mothers and the poet himself are all equals, without discrimination.His poetry contains much irony and casual humour, yet doesn’t shrink from such grand themes as language, religion and sexuality. Ducal’s poetry is allegedly blasphemous, but ‘shocking’ would be a better epithet.

 photo © private
He set the scene in his debut Het huwelijk (Marriage) by criticizing the sacred institution of marriage. Subsequently, in De hertog en ik (The Duke and I) he changed tack by recycling myths and fables to evoke an alienating world in which the poet is pursued by the ominous figure of the duke. In Moedertaal (Mother Tongue) he expanded on the relationship between motherhood and language. Ducal sees language as a code of magic, a vision he shares with Dutch poet Gerrit Achterberg and German grandmaster Rainer Maria Rilke. Language, according to Ducal, may at once draw reality in and push it away. In Naar de aarde (Towards Earth), Ducal finally chose a poetic in which social commitment is the ideal to strive for. This social commitment is also expressed in a series of leftist papers on the far right and the war in Iraq.

After the volume Naar de aarde Ducal kept quiet for eight years. It was feared that with this volume he had written his literary testament, but nothing could be further from the truth. The eagerly awaited new volume In inkt gewassen (Washed in Ink) proves Ducal still has much to write about. The farmer-poet Charles Ducal continues to plough a fascinating field of poetry.

In 2014 he was appointed as the very first Poet Laureate of Belgium.

  • Het huwelijk

    Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 1987

  • De hertog en ik

    Amsterdam: De Arbeiderspers, 1989

  • De meesterknecht

    Amsterdam: Atlas, 1992

  • Over de voorrang van rechts

    Berchem/Breda: EPO/De Geus, 1993

  • Moedertaal

    Amsterdam: Atlas, 1994

  • Naar de aarde

    Amsterdam: Atlas, 1998

  • In inkt gewassen

    Amsterdam: Atlas, 2006

  • 1989 Preis von De Vlaamse Gids

  • 1989 Lucy B. und C.W. van der Hoogt Preis

  • 1997 Flämischer Preis für Dichtung