Katelijne De Vuyst: Translating a book (or a poem) is living in the head of its author


“Translating a book (or a poem) is living in the head of its author.”

Katelijne studied Roman Philology. She taught French for seven years, kept an art gallery for four years and decided in the nineties that it was time to do something totally different. Being fond of literature, she obtained a degree in literary translation. She likes to alternate prose with poetry for it are two distinct disciplines, you could compare it to running a marathon or a hundred metre race. She translated poetry of – amongst others – Louis Aragon, Mina Loy, Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas, Patty Smith and novels of Olivier Rolin, Emmanuel Carrère, Barbey d’Aurevilly, and of the Belgian authors Georges Eekhoud and Caroline Lamarche… She is currently hosting the advisory committee Poetry at Flanders Literature, and she’s one of the editors of the Flemish poetry magazine Poëziekrant. In January, she translated The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem for Joe Biden, way before the row broke out in the Netherlands. This was noticed by Jeroen, and it’s one of the reasons why she’s participating at the Design Thinking Conference. Looking through different eyes has become her lifestyle, and for the time of the translation, she’s almost literally living in the head of her authors.