Leo Herberghs worked for a long time as a journalist for a number of Limburg newspapers. At the same time he built an impressive oeuvre of poetry collections, children's books and contemplative prose. He lived a secluded life and still sought publicity, which may explain his marginal position in the Dutch literary landscape.
The poet Leo Herberghs is mainly known for his 'later work'. The four-part Evening (1989), Morning (1990), Afternoon (1992) and Night (1993) consisting of long poems brought him many new readers. Herberghs is known - and loved - in the name of Southern Netherlands and Flemish Belgium. Critics often praise him as a poet of the small, 'a note-taker of the neglected'. His poetry is translated into French, German and Spanish. A number of his poems have been published as bibliophile editions. Seven verses from Heilig Weer have been set to music by the composer John W. M. Slangen, as seven songs for voice and piano. His longer poem Autumn in Mechelen was filmed in 2009 as part of a multi-media production. In 1998 Yolanda Bloemen, Wiel Kusters and Ben van Melick produced an extensive anthology of more than forty-years from Herberghs' poetry under the title Portrait of a landscape. Poems 1953-1997.
Herberghs translated, among others, Twee Heren and other prose by Kurt Schwitters. In 2001 Dutch gray / Hollands Gray was published, his translation of poems by the New York avant-garde architect and artist John (Quentin) Hejduk.
Leo Herberghs has contributed to a large number of literary magazines, including Roeping, Raam, Kentering, De Gids and De Revisor. From 1955 to 1975 he was co-editor of Nieuwe Stemmen. His poems have appeared in many magazines, books and other editions. And anthologies: from Erts (Amsterdam 1955, edited by Bert Voeten) to De Wasknijper (2005).
The 'silent' poet's own work is also included in the canon of Gerrit Komrij, the anthology DUTCH POETRY from the 19th to the 21st century (Amsterdam 1996/2004, 13th-14th ed. Dr.).
Leo Herberghs, writer and poet and Theo Derksen, photographer,
published a book with photographs and poems on the city of Heerlen.