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Gerrit Komrij

Gerrit Komrij - Winternachten 2004 - foto Serge Ligtenberg 2004
Gerrit Komrij - Winternachten 2004 - foto Serge Ligtenberg 2004

(Winterswijk, 1944) was the first Poet Laureate of the Netherlands. He is considered one of the best columnists in the country, a novelist, renowned translator, and an enhtusiastic reviewer of poetry. Komrij is a cat in a Strange Warehouse, as he called a book of collected essays that came out in 2001. The world is never a trusted or obvious place, but if you look good, there's always something surprising around. 'I don't think I'm a no-nonsense guy. There's too much noise inside of me'. Komrij, who has lived in Portugal since 1984, is one of the most productive Dutch writers. Since 1968 he has published several works annually. Recently Komrij's choice of the one-hundred best Dutch poems (2008) appeared, in addition to an anthology of Dutch children's poetry in over 1000 poems (2007) and Kakafonie (2006), an 'encyclopaedia of shit'. In 2005 he published Eendagsvliegen (Ephemera, literary diary entries) and a volume of poetry Fata Morgana.

(WIN 2009)

Archive available for: Gerrit Komrij

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    Wintercafé 2: Masquerades

    Pupils from local secondary schools just did it: climbing the stage of the wintercafé and reading their poetry on the topic of 'masquerades'. In Dutch. In preparation their class was visited by poet Jan Baeke, they read and analysed poetry and polished their own words. Not only Gerrit Komrij was impressed by the pupils: it was one of the highlights of Friday nights programming.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    It really happened

    Contemporary readers yearn for true strories. In the bookstores there are piles of books with literary non-fiction and the jury of the AKO literature prize never nominated so much nonfiction. Why does the genre have such an appeal to readers and writers alike? And: how true is non-fiction really? How does the writer keep guard over the boundaris of pure fabrication? Gerrit Komrij, Kristien Hemmerechts, Naima el Bezaz and P.F. Thomése debated with practical instances from their own non-fiction. Komrij opened with the pamphlet Fake Buttocks, which was published in the weekly the Groene Amsterdammer the week after the festival. Host: Koen Kleijn.

  • Suriname 2008

    Spot en Satire: Gesprekken, voordrachten en muziek

    With: Antoine de Kom, Asli Erdogan, Celestine Raalte, Ellen Ombre, Gerrit Komrij, Izaline Calister, Jit Narain, Peter Snyders, Putu Wijaya, Rappa, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

    19:30 Inloop Band/ DJ
    20:00 Opening avond Ingrid Ameraali
    20:10 welkomstwoord slotavond Ingrid Ameraali
    20:20 Debat over Satire en Spot Peter Snijders, Youssouf, Gerrit Komrij, Rappa, Ellen Ombre, Asli Erdogan, Discussieleider Jerry Egger
    20:40 Voordracht Putu Widjaya
    20:50 Voordracht Antoine de Kom
    21:00 Optreden band Glenn Texeira and band
    21:20 Pauze
    21:40 Voordracht Celestine Raalte
    22:00 Voordracht Rappa
    22:10 Voordracht Rappa
    22:20 Slotwoord Rielle Mardjo: Voorzitter Lit: Fest:
    22:40 Optreden band Glenn Texeira and band/ DJ/Izaline Calister
    Afsluiting Avond/ Nababbel

  • Suriname 2008

    Spot en Satire 2

    With: Asli Erdogan, Celestine Raalte, Gerrit Komrij, Ingrid Ameraali, Jit Narain, Peter Snyders, Rappa, Skwala

    19:30 Inloop
    20:00 Opening avond
    20:10 welkomstwoord avond 2
    20:20 Voordracht Asli Erdogan
    20:30 Voordracht Celestine Raalte
    20:40 Celistine Raalte Gerrit Komrij
    20:50 Voordracht Jit Narain
    21:00 Optreden band Glenn Texeira & band
    21:20 Pauze
    21:40 Voordracht Peter Snijders
    22:00 Voordracht Rappa
    22:10 Voordracht Putu Wijaya
    22:20 Q & A Jerry Egger , discussieleider
    22:40 Optreden band Glenn Texeira & band
    Afsluiting Avond DJ
    Nababbel

  • Suriname 2008

    Openingsprogramma

    With: Alakondre, Antoine de Kom, Asli Erdogan, Celestine Raalte, Ellen Ombre, Gerrit Komrij, Ingrid Ameraali, Izaline Calister, Jit Narain, Peter Snyders, Putu Wijaya, Rappa, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

    19:30 Inloop Alakondreband
    20:00 Opening festival
    20:10 Welkomstwoord door organisaties Stichting Literair Festival Suriname en Stichting Winternachten
    20:20 Kennismaking auteurs met Publiek
    20:30 Voordracht Ellen Ombre
    20:40 Voordracht Peter Snijders
    20:50 Voordracht Rappa
    21:00 Optreden band Izaline Calister
    21:20 Pauze
    21:40 Voordracht Youssouf Amine Elalamy
    21:50 Voordracht Antoine de Kom
    22:00 Voordacht Putu Widjaya
    22:10 Optreden band Izaline Calister
    22:30 Optreden band Izaline Calister
    Afsluiting Avond/ Nababbel DJ

  • Suriname 2008

    Optreden voor studenten IOL/Universiteit en scholieren VWO

    With: Antoine de Kom, Asli Erdogan, Celestine Raalte, Gerrit Komrij, Ingrid Ameraali, Izaline Calister, Jit Narain, Peter Snyders, Putu Wijaya, Skwala, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

    Aula Institute for Graduate & Research Studies (IGRS)
    (Programma bestemd voor studenten IOL/Universiteit en VWO)

    9:30 Inloop DJ
    10:00 Introductie en Welkomstwoord Kennismaking Auteurs met publiek Auteurs
    10:10 Ingrid Ameerali, MC
    10:20 Voordracht antoine de kom
    10:30 Voordracht Asli Erdogan
    10:40 Voordracht Celestine raalte
    10:50 Izaline Calister
    11:05 Voordracht
    11:15 Voordracht Youssouf Amine Elalamy
    11:25 Voordracht Celestine Raalte
    11:35 Voordacht Rap band /DJ
    11:45 Voordracht Jit Narain
    11:55 Voordracht Putu Wijaya
    12:05 Voordracht Gerrit Komrij
    12:10 Q & A met Jerry Egger
    12:45 Einde

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Long live satirical poetry

    Een Antwerpse Mis-pop
    Een Swijn van den Bisschop
    Derft hier komen raesen
    En gnurcken, en knorren
    En schelden, en morren
    En kijven, en kauten
    Met Rijmen vol fauten

    This is how the poet W.G. Foquenbroch once wrote about an Antwerp bishop. The satirical poem has become less popular over the years. However, this is unfortunate, because the Dutch character lends itself very much to satire. Five poets each wrote a satirical poem on the Dutch character: Maria Barnas, Frank Koenegracht, Gerrit Komrij, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer and Hans Verhagen. They breath new life into this literary tradition. Chaired by Joyce Roodnat. Dutch spoken.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Villa Maria

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Jopi Hart, Laura Quast, Mario Kleinmoedig, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Myra Römer, Putu Wijaya

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Mario Kleinmoedig. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their fellow-authors from Curaçao, Philip Rademaker and Laura Quast. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamentu and English. There is also music in the programme, by the young talented singer Maritza Haakmat.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Power to the poets - Teatro Luna Blou

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Gibi Bacilio, Mario Kleinmoedig, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Putu Wijaya

    Power to the poets is the title of an international literary programme with readings and debate, led by Mario Kleinmoedig. The social commitment of the writer and the poet is subject of debates with three authors. Gerrit Komrij from the Netherlands (former Dichter des Vaderlands - inoffical poet laureate- , renowned poet, novelist, columnist, essayist, anthologist and dramaturg). Diana Ferrus from Cape Town, South-Africa, became well-known through her poem on Saartje Baartman - the 'Hottentot-Venus' -  a black South-African woman who was forced to tour in circus in Europe. Her remains were kept in a museum in Paris. In South-Africa a campaign was raised to have her remains buried in her home country after all these years. Diana Ferrus' poem played a major role in this campaign. Drisana Deborah Jack, is a poet from Sint Maarten. Het poems show strong commitment to the future of Sint Maarten independence.  The participant from Curaçao is poet/performer Gibi Bacilio. During this evening there are also readings from two other writers: Putu Wijaya from Indonesia, and the Surinamese/Dutch author Clark Accord. Singer Maritza Haakmat will give a short poetry recital. Al readings of foreign authors will be in their mother tongue. Translations into Papiamentu and English will be projected simultaneously on a screen.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Bonaire

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Henri Toré, Linda Coffie, Myra Römer, Putu Wijaya, Tica Sealy-Nicolaas, Tiri Trinidad & Kathleen Thielman-Winklaar

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Tica Sealy-Nicolaas. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Bonairian fellow-authors Henri Toré and Linda Coffie. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamento, the language of Aruba. Also in the programma a presentation of Bonairian poety by the local performers Tiri Trinidad & Kathleen Thielman-Winklaar.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Crusa Lama - Aruba

    With: Belén Kock-Marchena, Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Jessica van der Linden, Johnny Scharbaay, Myra Römer, Olga Zaandam-Buckley, Putu Wijaya

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Mirto Laclé. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Aruban fellow-poets Olga Zaandam-Buckley and Belén Kock-Marchena. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamento, the language of Aruba. There is also music in the programme, by the Aruban musician  Johnny Scharbaay.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Crossing the Seas - Sint Maarten

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Joy Reiph-Arnell, La-Vaune Henry & Mosera, Myra Römer, Papa Mpho, Putu Wijaya, Ruby Bute

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Joy Reiph-Arnell, and musical performance by singer La-Vaune Henry, accopanied by artist and musician Mosera. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Aruban fellow-authors Papa Umpe and Ruby Bute. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from this island.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in English.

  • Winternachten 2004

    Poems analysed and put to music

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Denise Jannah, Gerrit Komrij, Toef Jaeger

    Everything you always wanted to know, but never dared to ask. Writers Adriaan van Dis and Gerrit Komrij give a lesson in poetry. For and with the audience, they each analyse one poem from world literature on the theme of dreams and ideals. In the second part of this programme jazz singer Denise Jannah wil put one of the poems to music. For this she makes use of the analysis of Van Dis and Komrij, and she will make use of the the audience participation. The poems will be on this website in the week before the festival and will be handed out to the audience.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 2

    The clones of god

    Forty years ago the famous words 'I had a dream' made a lot of impression. Nowadays, if we are to believe the advertisements, the question 'beer?' appeals more to the imagination. Who makes what is bent straight asked Ecclesiastes and we with him. Writers Khalid Boudou and Gerrit Komrij - now as clones of god - exchange letters to one another on the question of what a future world should look like. An exchange of letters on stage. Directed by Carel Alphenaar.

  • Winternachten 2002

    Live Anthology: taboos of love and literature

    With: Antjie Krog, Ayu Utami, Basil Appollis, Ernest Pépin, Fouad Laroui, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerrit Komrij, Manon Uphoff, Michaël Zeeman, Pauline Melville

    'These are the same people who used to think that anything goes and everything should be allowed. Now they want to prohibit everything which they suspect might bring enjoyment to someone else' (Gerrit Komrij).
    Maybe 'taboo' is the most culturally specific notion possible. In the Netherlands, taboos in love or literature seem out of date since the 1960s. But in South Africa, a novel about homosexuality comes as a shock, and a South African makes internationally controversial movies about power, love and violence. Cultures collide when talking about taboos, so this should be a great starting point for a discussion with a collection of internationally renowned authors. This afternoon, eight writers read their favorite fragments from world literature with the theme of the taboo. In the ensuing conversation, the boundaries of culture and religion become apparent. Dutch/English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 1

    The State of Passion and Love

    'I tell you, love is a chemical reaction, with an inevitable bad ending'. With these words Gerrit Komrij opened this festival. His sermon was the starting point of a conversation on passion and love, between writer Connie Palmen and 'Happy Hooker' Xaviera Hollander. In the last minutes of this programme, jazz-singer Denise Jannah talked about the way she set four love poems to music. The poems were selected for her by Gerrit Komrij. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 1

    Film: Korreltjie niks is my dood

    (Grain of nothing will kill me, 55 min., beta sp, 2001) Director: Saskia van Schaik (for VPRO television). A documentary about South African poet Ingrid Jonker. In the night of 18 to 19 July, 1965, she walked into the sea near Three Anchor Bay, Cape town. She left behind a daughter, a small but beautiful body of work, consisting of three poetry collections. Jonker's work not only had great influence on the work of generations of African poets after her, but she also conquered the hearts of many readers. Jonker was brought back into attention when Nelson Mandela reader her famous poem 'The child' during the opening of the Parliament. The documentary opens and closes with the poem, read by Mandela and by the mother of the child that died during the riots in Sharpville. The poem became a symbol for unity, reconciliation and healing for all South Africans. With an introduction from the author of the scenario Henk van Woerden (writer, painter), Gerrit Komrij (compiled an anthology of Jonker's work in cooperation with Henk van Woerden), and writer André Brink. Dutch/Afrikaans spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 1

    Radio and Television

    Radio and TV West together recorded a programme on Winternachten. The programme was hosted by Louis Hueber, with his guests Gerrit Komrij, Louise Wondel and Joris Luyendijk. The live music was performed by the South African group Sam Tshabalala & Sabeka and the Eddie Veldman Opoyeye Kwartet.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 1

    Poetry of Displacement

    Michaël Zeeman talked to Marlene van Niekerk, Gerrit Komrij and Adriaan van Dis on their choice of poems on the theme of displacement. Each of them read some poems from world literature. Dutch spoken .

  • Winternachten 1999

    Live Anthology

    With: Arahmaiani, Aya Zikken, Breyten Breytenbach, Dan Jacobson, Denis Henriquez, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerrit Komrij, Henk van Woerden, Jit Narain, Michiel van Kempen, Pim de la Parra, Rendra, Rudy Kousbroek, Soli Philander

    The final programme in this festival was a 'live anthology', composed by writers reading their favourite poems and prose-fragments from the literatures of each other's cultures. In this way a colourful anthology was created from Surinamese, Indonesian, Antillian, Dutch and South-African literature.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 1

    South-African Anthologists

    Gerrit Komrij and Robert Dorsman each composed an anthology of Afrikaans poetry. Translator Robert Dorsman worked closely together with the Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis. They published 'O wye en droewe land', with a hundred-and-one poems. Gerrit Komrij took it further. By the time of the festival he worked on an anthology in a thousand-and-some poems. Moderator Michaël Zeeman linked the two anthologists. They read their favourite poems, and each of them introduced a poet of their choice in the festival. Komrij invited Gert Vlok Nel, Dorsman chose for Loit Sôls.