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Two Half Faces

Two Half Faces

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By Mustafa Stitou
Translated by David Colmer 

The first English-language collection by Moroccan-Dutch poet Mustafa Stitou, Two Half Faces spans the career of an adventurous, playful thinker, a master of the Dutch language and a prophet of his time.

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Paperback: 9781646050314
eBook: 9781646050321


In his first English-language collection, Moroccan-Dutch poet Mustafa Stitou marks his position as one of the most important poets of his generation. Two Half Faces collects work from across Stitou’s career as he grapples in his poetry with his position in a changing reality. Stitou brilliantly parlays his relationship with his two homelands into a chronicle of identity, producing a vital account of cultural friction in poems that range from narrative to lyrical. Humor and seriousness go hand in hand, and the everyday combines with the surreal and the sublime to form a vibrant tension. This collection charts Stitou’s progress as a poet of emotion and intellect, one who poignantly illuminates the ambiguities of cultural identities, and the intersections of our inner and outer worlds.

Biographical Note

Mustafa Stitou was born in Tetouan, Morocco, in 1974, and grew up in Lelystad in the Netherlands. He currently lives in Amsterdam, where he studied philosophy at the UVA. He has published four collections of poetry: Mijn vormen (My Forms, 1994), Mijn gedichten (My Poems, 1998), Varkensroze ansichten (Pig-Pink Picture Postcards, 2003), and Tempel (Temple, 2013). He is the recipient of the VSB Poetry Prize, the Jan Campert Prize, the Awater Poetry Prize, and the A. Roland Holst Award.

David Colmer is an Australian translator who lives in Amsterdam. He has won many prizes, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (both with novelist Gerbrand Bakker), and most recently the James Brockway Prize for his translations of Dutch poetry.


One of World Literature Today's Notable Translations of 2020

Winner of the VSB Poetry Prize and the Jan Campert Prize

City Poet of Amsterdam 2009

“If the essence of poetry is to break with expectations, Mustafa Stitou is conceivably an ideal poet.“ —Mischa Andriessen, Poetry International

“A pleasure to read and reread. Stitou: a highly interesting young Dutch Poet. Remember that name.” —Peter de Boer, Trouw

“The most important poet of his generation.” —Piet Gebrandy, de Volkskrant