Maarten van der Graaff
(Dirksland, NL, 1987) debuted in 2013 with Vluchtautogedichten (Getaway Poems), awarded the 2014 C. Buddingh prize. The jury praised the "boasting, swagger, and bravado" of the new poet. The daily NRC Handelsblad newspaper wrote that the volume promises an intriguing oeuvre to come. Van der Graaff escapes everyday reality in his very own getaway car poetry looking for new dimensions. His second poem collection Dood werk (Dead Work) was published in 2015. Van der Graaff published poetry and prose in various magazines; he performs in public regularly and is editor and co-founder of the online literary magazine Samplekanon. His first novel Wormen en engelen (Worms and Angels, 2017) is a contemporary quest for the meaning of religion.(2017)
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The 23rd Winternachten international literature festival-edition takes place from Thursday 18 January up till and including Sunday 21 January. Over 80 writers, poets and musicians from The Netherlands and abroad will this time not only come to festival locations Theater aan het Spui and Filmhuis Den Haag, but will also visit schools and perform in The Hague neighbourhoods.
The festival, known for its scintillating mix of declamation, readings, conversations about topical subjects, musical performances and film programme, has no less then eight locations this edition. From 18-21 January, central festival locations are Theater aan het Spui and Filmhuis Den Haag.
Additionally, the festival presents free entry writers' performances at the Speakers' Corner of the Haagse Hogeschoo, at the International Institute of Social Studies, at Theater Dakota, at public library Schilderswijk and public library Nieuw Waldeck.
The Lighthouse, centre for debate, culture and innovation of the Haagse Hogeschool and Winternachten festival present, Thursday 18 January, at the Speakers' Corner the programme 'Dichterbij Dichters' (Close up to Poets) featuring poetry-slam talent Sanam Sheriff from India, poets Efe Murad (Turkey) and Ghayath Almadhoun (Sweden), and writer-poets Maarten van der Graaff and Rodaan Al Galidi from the Netherlands: Writers Unlimited introduces a new international literary generation. Participants read from their own work and Hassnae Bouazza discusses the expressiveness of poetry with the poets and the public.
How can literature challenge language? Besides Mandarin and Spanish, English is the most-spoken language in the world. It is a language of power, of mass culture, of imperialism and domination, but also a language expressing solidarity, activism and understanding, in which the underpinnings of power can be attacked: a language of the majority full of minority languages.
What is the role of English in the poetry being written in the Netherlands and Belgium? Writers Unlimited put this question to eight young poets writing in English, in Dutch, in Dutch as well as English, who write multilingual poetry, who live in the Netherlands and Belgium, who were born 'here' or not.
What is the status of English in their poetry? Each has written a new poem especially for the festival: Veva Leye, Dean Bowen, Nam Chi Nguyen, Samira Saleh, Mia You en Caglar Koseoglu; also Joost Baars and Charlotte Van den Broeck, both nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize 2018, take part and react with their work. The VSB Poetry Prize 2018 will be awarded shortly after the Festival, on Thursday, 25 January, at the Diligentia Theatre in The Hague.
Francis Broekhuijsen presents students of Hague high schools reading their own poetry, the result of workshops led by members of the Hague Poets' Guild. Young poet and 2014 C. Buddingh Prize winner Maarten van der Graaff and British poet and performer Salena Godden keep them company. During each Spot on Young Poets event (Friday and Saturday), one finalist for the Young Campert Prize will be chosen. Both finalists will read their poems during Sunday's Writers' Festival event, ahead of the award ceremony of the Jan Campert Foundation prizes. The public will choose one of them as the winner of this new prize for best Hague student poet. Come down and witness the literary future! Dutch spoken
Can the secrets of a city a collection of microcosms, a collection of past and layered histories ever be completely and commonly uncovered? The festival asked seven authors to write about their own "secret" cities. Not the city that they see when they walk out the door and onto the street, but the city that they occasionally and unexpectedly come across. Participants read in their own language, with English and Dutch translations projected simultaneously.
Within De verborgen ruimte (The Secret Space), the map is newly read and drawn by nine poets. Which sounds and tones belong in it, what has not yet been said, and what is continually misunderstood? Who is on the sidelines or smack in the centre? The Secret Space could be in suburbia, in a body, in a factory farm, or in an addictions clinic. This has consequences - whoever peeks into the secret space loses a number of his or her certainties. When the map is redrawn, no one finds their way home.
The "VSB Poetry Prize on Tour" forms part of The Secret Space - among the performing poets are the authors of three volumes nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize: Kwaadgesternte (Born Under a Bad Sign) by Hannah van Binsbergen, Lichtmeters by Ruth Lasters and Koelkastlicht (Refrigerator Light) by Rodaan Al Galidi. In addition, Marieke Rijneveld, Dominique de Groen, Mira Feticu, Obe Alkema, Simone Atangana Bekono and Ton van 't Hof will read from their work. The Secret Space is organized and presented by the poet Maarten van der Graaff, winner of the C.Buddingh' Award 2014 for his debut collection Vluchtautogedichten (Getaway Car Poems). Programme in Dutch
During this first hour, MC Francis Broekhuijsen presents students from the Hague secondary schools reading their poems, the outcome of a series of school workshops. They perform with poet Maarten van der Graaff.