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Sotto Magazine: Review Poetry d'Amour 2013

"Tineke Van der Eecken puts her multi-lingual skills to good use in Val di Mello (The Valley of Honey).Honey forms the main conceit in this poem. The speaker is drawn to the lover like a honeybee. At first they are held together as if by the richness and the ‘stickiness’ of the honey, but she knows even at the time they are holding on to ‘something already gone’. Tineke’s reading of this poem, accompanied by music, really brought to life the joy and the loss of this narrative. The richness of the language added another dimension to the richness of the experience of love, and to the honey."

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'Ode to Brel' review by Zan Ross for OOTA Split Ink Competition

Lyrical and lilting, faultless in its rhythm and detail, this poem makes you long for the experience of Brel.

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On Language: I have rarely read a poem like it - Marcella Polain

The winning poem declares itself immediately through its title. It is about language, is written in three languages and yet begins with the poet's declaration that she has none. It moves between languages -- sometimes translating, sometimes not -- so that we (readers) experience the destabilising of the world similar to that which is all the time experienced by those who live outside their first (or second) language(s). Only two of these languages are accessible to me but such is the poet's skill that my exclusion from the third enhanced, rather than diminished, my understanding of the poet's intention. Similarly, English misspellings worked as (intentional or unintentional) visual evidence of the impossibility of seamlessness or direct translation, that languages (like humans) can't be easily understood or transplanted, that living, speaking, thinking, belonging is never straightforward nor complete. This is an intensely moving poem, deeply philosophical, political, personal and universal. I have rarely read a poem like it.

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