Launch of Virgula by Sasja Janssen, trans. Michele Hutchison, The Music Room, Great Ormond Street, 13 February 2024

Please join us in February for the London launch of Virgula, the award-winning collection by Dutch poet Sasja Janssen, translated by Michele Hutchison. Sasja and Michele will be joined by poets Prudence Chamberlain and Isobel Dixon.

7pm, Tuesday 13 February 2024 

The Music Room, 49 Great Ormond St, London WC1N 3HZ 

Free to attend, but please RSVP to 

Made possible with funding from the Dutch Foundation for Literature/Nederlands Letterenfonds (NLF).

‘Virgula’, the Latin word for a comma, is what moves thoughts and languages forward and what stops the stillness. In Sasja Janssen’s award-winning collection, the comma becomes much more than a punctuation mark. Virgula is invoked as a muse and a companion; she is called on in every poem, as if she were a goddess, friend or lover, someone who offers space when the emptiness becomes too heavy.

Winner of the Awater Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Ida Gerhardt Poetry Prize, the Herman de Coninck Prize and De Grote Poëzieprijs.


Sasja Janssen is a poet and novelist based in Amsterdam. Her first publications were two novels but since her father’s death she has written mainly poetry. Her poems feature the body in many shapes, from tool to target, from weapon to wound. Virgula (2021) was nominated for five Dutch prizes and awarded the prestigious Awater Poetry Prize. Putting On My Species (2014) was her first collection to be translated into English and was published by Shearsman in 2020. Janssen has performed nationally and internationally, including at festivals in Nicaragua, Medellín, Mexico and Buenos Aires. The poet and critic Piet Gerbrandy wrote of her work, ‘The poet tries desperately to grasp something of the insane world we find ourselves in and in which we have to simply make do, with totally inadequate means.’

Michele Hutchison was born in the UK and has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. She was educated at UEA, Cambridge and Lyon universities. She translates literary fiction and nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels and children’s books. Recent translations include works by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Raoul Deleo, Octavie Wolters, Gerda Blees, and Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, with whom she shared the 2020 International Booker Prize for The Discomfort of Evening. She also co-authored the successful parenting book The Happiest Kids in the World.