Vivimarie Vanderpoorten

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Vivimarie VanderPoorten
Born Kandy, Sri Lanka
Occupation Poet, Lecturer in English
Nationality  Sri Lankan
Period 2007 to present
Genre poetry
Notable works Nothing Prepares You, Stitch Your Eyelids Shut

Vivimarie VanderPoorten is a Sri Lankan poet. Her book Nothing Prepares You won the 2007 Gratiaen Prize.[1] She was also awarded the 2009 SAARC Poetry Award in Delhi.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka of Belgian and Sinhala ancestry, Vanderpoorten grew up in Kurunegala. She holds a PhD from the University of Ulster, UK, and is currently a senior lecturer in English language, literature and linguistics at the Open University of Sri Lanka.[3]


She lists Kamala Das, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou among authors who have influenced her, and Moshin Hamid, Khaled Hosseini and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as contemporary writers that she reads.[4]


Vanderpoorten's first book, Nothing Prepares You, was published in 2007 by Zeus Publishers.[5] Her second collection of poems, Stitch Your Eyelids Shut (2010) addresses issues that include feminism and the aftermath of Sri Lanka's Civil War.[5] Vivimarie made an appearance at the Galle Literary Festival 2011, where she read poetry about her reaction to the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge.[6]


Critical Reception[edit]

Her poetry has been called "gentle, reflective minimalism which touches the soul" by Dr. Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda, the chairman of the panel of judges who awarded her the Gratiaen Prize[3]

Awards and honours[edit]

Her first book Nothing Prepares You was awarded the 2007 Gratiaen Prize[1] and the 2009 SAARC Poetry Award. [2] She won the State Literary Award for English poetry (sharing the award with another Sri Lankan poet, Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe) in October 2011.[7] Her third collection of poems, in manuscript form was shortlisted for the 2016 Gratiaen Prize


Her work has been translated into Sinhalese, Spanish and Swedish, and published in India, Bangladesh, Mexico, Sweden and the UK, as well as in online journals such as sugar mule and the open access journal 'postcolonial text'.


  1. ^ a b The Gratiaen Trust "2007 Winner", accessed January 27, 2011.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b The Sunday Times "What you see is what you get with Vivimarie", accessed January 27, 2011.
  4. ^ The Nation "Vivimarie Vanderpoorten - Ode to a free spirit", accessed January 29, 2011.
  5. ^ a b The Sunday Times "Vivimarie’s power of making the word her own", accessed January 28, 2011.
  6. ^ BBC News "Sri Lanka literary festival discusses journalist's plight", accessed January 31, 2011.
  7. ^ Sunday Leader "Poetry Corner Vivimarie Vander Poorten", accessed September 3, 2016. [1] [2]