|POET (THE NETHERLANDS)|
BORN 13 Feb 1909, Den Haag, Zuid-Holland - DIED 16 Oct 1998, Roden, Drenthe|
REAL NAME Droogleever Fortuyn-Leenmans, Margaretha
GRAVE LOCATION Amsterdam, Noord-Holland: Zorgvlied, Amsteldijk (C-I-320)
Maria Vasalis (Vasalis is Latin for her maiden name Leenmans) studied Vasalis studied medicine and anthropology in Leiden. Princess Juliana was a friend of her during that period. In 1939 she set up as a psychiatrist in Amsterdam. In later years she worked as a children's psychiatrist in Assen.
She debuted in 1940 with "Parken en "woestijnen" ("Parks and Deserts"). In 1947 she published "De vogel Phoenix" ("The Bird Phoenix"), followed by "Vergezichten en gezichten" ("Views and Faces") in 1954. Then she stopped publishing poetry. When she was asked why in 1974 she stated that it was 'useless to light her match near the fire'. Little is known of her personal life. She shunned publicity and gave only one interview, in 1947 to P.H. Ritter. In 1966 she visited the writer Gerard Reve when he was in hospital in Assen after a delirium tremens.
Her work was still widely read during the rest of her life and she received several important Dutch literary prizes, among them the P.C. Hooftprijs in 1983. In 2002 her family published the poems she left behind as "De oude kustlijn" ("The Old Coastline").