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] She is of Belgian and Sinhala ancestry and 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] 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] Her second collection of poems, Stitch Your Eyelids Shut (2010) addresses issues that include feminism and the aftermath of Sri Lanka's Civil War.[4] 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.[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] She won the State Literary Award for English poetry (sharing the award with another Sri Lankan poet, Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe) in October 2011. 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. ^ The Gratiaen Trust "2007 Winner", accessed January 27, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b The Sunday Times "What you see is what you get with Vivimarie", accessed January 27, 2011.
  4. ^ The Sunday Times "Vivimarie’s power of making the word her own", accessed January 28, 2011.
  5. ^ The Nation "Vivimarie Vanderpoorten - Ode to a free spirit", accessed January 29, 2011.
  6. ^ BBC News "Sri Lanka literary festival discusses journalist's plight", accessed January 31, 2011. [1]