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The Inside of a Stone | Bloodaxe Books

Charlotte Van den Broeck

The Inside of a Stone

Charlotte Van den Broeck


Publication Date : 20 Feb 2025

ISBN: 9781780377025

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

After first making her mark as a compelling performer, Belgian poet Charlotte Van den Broeck was acclaimed as one of Europe’s most innovative and original new voices in poetry. Her first two collections, Chameleon and Nachtroer, were published together in David Colmer’s English translation by Bloodaxe in 2020.

Whereas those earlier books often return to childhood and youth in urban and European landscapes, the key sequence of The Inside of a Stone concentrates on desert landscapes and womanhood – and the emotional resonance between the two – while reconceptualising their metaphorical relationship. With close observation and striking images she engages with the arid, eroded landscape. In other poems she considers sexual violence while watching a pair of mating turtles, imagines an alternative emotional life for Ilsebill, the fisherman’s wife from the Grimm fairytale, and explores medieval poet Hildegard of Bingen’s magical healing.


From the reviews in Belgium and The Netherlands of The Inside of a Stone:

‘In lines that are graceful yet urgent, Charlotte Van den Broeck reveals the wounds in landscapes, animals and people, women.’ – Trouw

‘Charlotte Van den Broeck captures intense experiences in living language.’ – Trouw

‘Charlotte Van den Broeck dismantles herself and the world.’ – Volkskrant

‘With this collection, Charlotte Van den Broeck shows the limitations of the female image and breaks through them with her poems.’ – NRC


From the reviews of Chameleon | Nachtroer:

‘This joint volume translation introduces the young Belgian poet to English-language audiences with the rich tonal and emotional range that the breadth of two collections allow for. Van den Broeck’s poems stretch from playfulness to introspective and melancholy moods, and her uncanny imagination characterises every single one of her poems. Chameleon | Nachtroer marks the development of a strange and distinctive voice, which comes through powerfully in David Colmer’s astute translation.’ – Helena Fornells, Asymptote Journal

‘Reading Charlotte Van den Broeck’s recent Bloodaxe collection makes it clear to the reader exactly why she is acclaimed as one of Europe’s most innovative and original new voices in poetry.’ – Lizzie Husum, DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts), on Chameleon | Nachtroer

‘This poetry parades like the chameleon in various appearances…in streaming language and unlikely, striking images.’ – Humo, on Chameleon

‘This is carefully accurate poetry, eloquent and adventurous, and truly authentic. That someone’s second book can be so audacious and dauntless is remarkable.’ – VSB poëzieprijs 2018 jury, on Nachtroer

Charlotte Van den Broeck reads from Chameleon | Nachtroer

Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Charlotte Van den Broeck reading (or speaking) English translations of six of her poems, followed by the original poems in Dutch, at Letterenhuis in Antwerp in December 2018: first ‘Bucharest’ (‘Boekarest’); then ‘Bull's head’ (‘Stierenkop’), drawing on the opening of ‘Specialist Poulterer’ (Speciaalzaak poelier’) for its introduction; followed by ‘Netezon Laundrette’ (‘Wasserette de Netezon’), ‘Groceries Soft Drinks Spirits & Tobacco’ (‘Algemene voeding fris drank sterk drank & tabac’), and ‘Hvannadalshnúkur’. Five of the poems are from Chameleon while ‘Groceries Soft Drinks Spirits & Tobacco’ is from Nachtroer. The English translations used here are by Astrid Alben and Michele Hutchison and were previously published by Versopolis, Poetry International and Banipal.


USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin


BOOKS BY Charlotte Van den Broeck

Chameleon | Nachtroer

Charlotte Van den Broeck

Chameleon | Nachtroer

Publication Date : 27 Feb 2020

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