Poet and performer Max Lerou (The Hague, 1953) started out as a society hair stylist, journalist and manager of national Dutch broadcaster VPRO, among other jobs. As a young man he travelled across Europe with a circus. At later age he was based in Asia ,where he wrote English-language poetry and fiction. After returning to the Netherlands he quickly made himself a name as performance poet. Lerou was a Dutch Championship Poetry Slam finalist and was awarded, among others, the ABN AMRO Almere Poetry Prize. His performance during the official opening of Parkpop 2017 was a first in the history of this large open-air music festival in The Hague.(2017)
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Three Hague authors - Max Lerou, Mira Feticu and Hizir Cengiz - have written a new story or poem especially for Writers Unlimited, inspired by what remains hidden in their city. Tonight they come to read their new works. What a party!
But what is actually hidden? "The Hague is a segregated city," says Festival curator Shervin Nekuee. He's been living in the Netherlands for thirty years, including the last ten in The Hague. "Poor and rich, young and old, native-born and foreign-born live alongside one another. That's why it's high time to show the city to one another with new stories."
Lerou is a wonderful performer of his own work: as a full-blooded performance poet, he enjoys getting inspired by music and his city. In 2017 he hit the stage during the opening of Parkpop and at the Embassy Festival on the Lange Voorhout.
Feticu writes poetry and prose. Her work has been published in Tirade and De Groene Amsterdammer; she writes a weekly column in Den Haag Centraal newspaper and is a programmer of B-Unlimited.
At age 18, Cengiz won the first Jan Paul Bresser Prize (2017) for his essay "The World Is a Bucket of Mud", published in De Groene Amsterdammer. In it, he describes how he moved to the Netherlands and ended up in the Schilderswijk. In the meantime he has been writing regular columns for De Groene Amsterdammer and working on a novel.