Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Marieke Rijneveld was born in Nieuwendijk in 1991 and grew up in a family of farmers in North Brabant. As a child she invented an imaginary friend called Lucas and wanted to be a boy herself. She was later bullied at school because of her boyishness, but at the age of 19 she adopted Lucas as her second first name: »I feel like a boy as well as a girl, a person somewhere in between.« Rijneveld studied Dutch at the College of Education in Utrecht and at the Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam.

In 2015 she made her début with the poetry collection »Kalfsvlies« (tr: Veal), which was awarded the C. Buddinghʼ-Prijs for the best poetry début and has appeared in several editions since then. »De avond is ongemak« (2018; tr: The Discomfort of the Evening) is Rijneveld’s first novel. It tells the shocking story of the loss of a child in a Christian peasant family from the perspective of Jas, who finds herself on the wobbly terrain between childhood and adulthood, and describes how the individual family members deal with the tragic loss in different ways. Jas prayed to God to take her brother instead of the rabbit she believed would be slaughtered at Christmas. On the same day, her brother falls through the ice while skating and drowns. The parents are paralyzed with grief and do not notice how Jas, her sister Hanna, and her brother Obbe slowly slip away from them. »What makes Rijneveld’s novel full of bizarre fantasies, reminiscent of Lize Spit and Gerbrand Bakker, so special is its intensity and poetry« (»Leeuwarder Courant«). In 2019, her second volume of poetry »Fantoommerrie«, was published, in some ways poetic continuation of her début. In terms of form, two-line verses alternate with larger blocks of prose poems. Rijneveld draws from a multitude of stylistic elements to make the texts feel dynamic. Thematically, the autobiographical aspects and the dissection of a traumatic past are in the foreground. The youthful lyric I perceives the burgeoning sexual longing as painful, the environment is dominated by silent adults whose severity has such a rejecting effect that the lyric I feels loneliness and isolation above all and remains alone feeling uncomfortable in its own body and with all the unanswered questions.

Rijneveld’s poems and stories have also appeared in literary magazines, including »Hollands Maandblad«, »VPRO Gids« and »Het liegend konijn«. In 2018 she was a member of the jury at the Film by the Sea film festival in Vlissingen. In addition to writing, Rijneveld works on a farm. She lives in Utrecht.