Esther Jansma was born in Amsterdam. She is a poet whose work is internationally recognised and published frequently, most recently in Dakruiters (Roof Turrets) (De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 2000). For which she won the Hughes C. Pernath Award in 2001. She has also been published in many poetry and prose magazines, anthologies and collections.
She is an archaeologist by profession, currently Head of Research Department, Environment and Heritage, National Service for Archaeological Heritage in The Netherlands. She can therefore look at Hadrian's Wall with an unusually informed eye.
Esther's poetry is intensely personal, and contains autobiographical
and family-related imagery.
She also visited other sites along the wall line to complete her research. She gave an important and impressive reading at Housesteads, where she read her poems in the original Dutch, which were then read in English by Francis R Jones, an internationally important translator, based in Northumberland.
Esther's visit also enabled a bringing together of Bloodaxe Books, Esther and Francis which has created a collaboration which is hopefully leading to Esther's first book of verse published in English, which will add to the stock of international writing available in translated form.