Jan H. Mysjkin 




Jan H. Mysjkin 

photo © Jan H. Mysjkin
* 16.11.1955, Brussels, Belgium
lives in: Paris, France

Jan H. Mysjkin, poet and writer, leads a semi-nomadic existence between addresses in Paris and Bucharest. He studied film realisation at the RITCS in Brussels, followed by Philosophy and General Literature at Ghent State University. As a poet, he has consistently pursued a course that focuses on the experimental, linguistic aspect of poetry. He made his debut in 1985 with Vormbeeldige gedichten, which included an afterword by the experimental writer Ivo Michiels. An identical affinity with experimental writing is evident not only in the poems themselves but in the correspondence with Pol Hoste, included in his second collection Spel van spiegels/Sonnetten in beweging (1990).

 photo © Jan H. Mysjkin
Since the collection Voor mijn ogen ligt het zwijgen (2010), Jan H. Mysjkin has carried out an adventurous and experimental investigation of language which comprises nine sections and which is rounded off by a coda in Dit is nobel gezegd, maar duister (2014). In the opening section, the poet embarks on a surreal packet boat on which nothing remained itself. In the first poem of Rekenkunde van de tastzin (2011), the I-figure goes ashore on a continent unknown to him. A journey through words and worlds, images and poetic forms acquires form in the remaining sections. In the coda, the poet takes the ship back home, although everywhere during the voyage he felt himself at home. It is striking that Jan H. Mysjkin also includes a number of translations of poems made by close fellow-translators in these collections.

As a translator, Jan H. Mysjkin has present all of post-war French poetry to a Dutch-speaking public. The span of his translations has resulted in the series Levende Franse poëzie (Living French Poetry), published by PoëzieCentrum in Ghent. This series has already featured three fine anthologies that include poems by such writers as Yves Bonnefoy, André du Bouchet, Jacques Roubaud, Tristan Tzara and André Breton. The fourth part, which has recently appeared and covers the 1980-2000 period, comprises poems by such writers as Yves di Manno, Jean-Paul Auxeméry, Olivier Cadiot, Pierre Alferi, Véronique Pittolo, Katalin Molnár, Christophe Tarkos, Nathalie Quintane and Jean-Michel Espitallier, the generation of French writers with which he feels a close affinity. After giving a general introduction to the period, Jan H. Mysjkin provides information about each individual poet, a literature list and a selection of poems. He has also translated an interesting selection of texts from the Dada movement, published as separate booklets in the Dada library of the publisher Vantilt in Nijmegen. The first complete translation into Dutch of Alexandre Dumas’ masterpiece The Count of Montecristo was awarded the dr. Elly Jaffé Prijs in 2012. In collaboration with the French poet-translator Pierre Gallissaires he also translates into French, thereby providing a French-speaking public with a fine sample of post-war Dutch-language poetry.

Since 2005, he has also translated Romanian poets into Dutch, as well as a considerable number of Dutch-language poets into Romanian in collaboration with Linda Maria Baros, and later with Doina Ioanid. This results in late 2014 in a 200-page, substantial anthology of fifteen Flemish poets, Lumina ultimei zile, the first of its kind in Romania for half a century.

Mysjkin is also a frequent guest at prestigious international poetry venues, such as One World Poetry in Amsterdam and Poetry International in Rotterdam, at the former festival Dichters in het Elzenveld and its successor Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp, as well as at poetry venues in French-speaking Belgium, France, Romania and Serbia.

  • Vormbeeldige gedichten

    Schellebelle: Grijm, 1985

  • Spel van spiegels. Sonnetten in beweging

    Gent: Poëziecentrum, 1990

  • Verlangen, eksplozie [Blind geheugen, inskripsies]

    Gent: Poëziecentrum, 1994

  • Hersenslag

    Gent: Ergo Pers, 2000

  • Kosovo

    Gent: Poëziecentrum, 2008

  • Voor mijn ogen ligt het zwijgen

    Gent: Poëziecentrum, 2010

  • Rekenkunde van de tastzin, gevolgd door Sprkls, gldls

    Amsterdam: J.M. Meulenhoff, 2011

  • Enz., enz…

    Utrecht: De Contrabas, 2013

  • Dit is nobel gezegd, maar duister

    Utrecht / Leeuwarden: De Contrabas, 2014

  • 1990 Staatsprijs voor Vertalingen

  • 2009 Brockway Prize

  • 2011 Translation prize of the Romanian festival Poesis International

  • 2012 dr. Elly Jaffé Prijs