The poems in Of Great Importance discuss taxes and debts, stocks and flows, citizenship and labor contracts, notaries and accountants, factories and strikes, freedoms and fundamental rights, how to make money and how to win elections, when to declare war and when to found a new state. The collection has been called “a painfully consistent and uncomfortably accurate analysis of power, economic and social structures and mechanisms which are at the root of the degenerate world in which we wake up each morning.” The poems look at history in order to learn something from it and build upon the best work of thinkers and poets such as Marx, Keynes, Heine, Miłosz, and especially Kaváfis.
Nachoem M. Wijnberg is a Dutch poet and novelist who has been acclaimed as one of the foremost Dutch authors of the last decennia. His poetry has received many Dutch and Belgian awards, including the 2009 VSB Prize for the best book of poetry. His poetry has been translated into many languages, ranging from Chinese to Italian, and published in a variety of journals, anthologies, and books. His books translated into English include the poetry volumes Advance Payment (2013) and Divan of Ghalib (2016) and the novel The Jews (2016). Wijnberg is a professor at the University of Amsterdam Business School.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment.