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Michiel van Kempen

Michiel van Kempen  tijdens Winternachten 2003 - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Michiel van Kempen tijdens Winternachten 2003 - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Oirschot, 1957) from 1983 to 1987 he worked in Surinam. Van Kempen is the compiler of two extensive anthologies: Spiegel van de Surinaamse poëzie (Mirror of the Surinamese Poetry) (1995) and Mama Sranan. 200 jaar Surinaamse verhaalkunst (Mama Sranan, 200 Years of Surinamese Storytelling) (1999). In 1997 his first novel, Plantage Lankmoedigheid (Plantation Patience) appeared. He also published: Het Nirwana is een lege trein (Nirvana is an Empty Train) (2000) and Pakistaanse nacht (Pakistani Night) (2002). In 2002 he obtained his doctorate with his thesis Een geschiedenis van de Surinaamse literatuur (A history of Surinamese literature). His anthology Noordoostpassanten (Northeast Transients), which he compiled together with Wim Rutgers, was presented at the Winternachten festival in 2005. In 2006 he published the novel Escape Routes.

Archive available for: Michiel van Kempen

  • Writers Series

    Cynthia McLeod and Michiel van Kempen

    With: Cynthia McLeod, Mathijs Deen, Michiel van Kempen

    On Friday evening July 5, Writers Unlimited The Series presented a programme on the history of slavery in Suriname. With the Surinamese writer Cynthia McLeod and author and specialist on Surinamese literature Michiel van Kempen. Interview by Mathijs Deen. Dutch spoken. Central Library of The Hague, at the Spui. 

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Downright performers: Surinam and St Maarten

    Overwhelmingly and defiantly Changa Hickinson of St.-Maarten brings his committed, activist poetry to the stage, booming and singing about colonialism and slavery, alternating this with whispers about poverty and suppression. Just as committed is the Surinamese poet Sombra. A pure performer, who with his drily humorous diction keeps the audience captivated. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Two Houses

    A daily topic of conversation in the Arab press still: Omaret Yacoubian, the adaptation of the novel by Alaa Al Aswany. A story about corruption, fundamentalism, adultery, drugs, trade and homosexuality. People cry out against the film, but the cinemas in Egypt are jam-packed. The Dutch translation of the novel about the Yacoubian, an apartment building in Cairo, was presented in Winternachten. Writer Aswany talked to Michiel van Kempen, who in his novel Vluchtwegen sketches a critical image of life in an apartment building in the heterogeneous Bijlmermeer. Discussion in English.

  • Winternachten 2005

    VPRO'S O.V.T. (imperfect past tense) - live from Winternachten

    With: Mathijs Deen, Michiel van Kempen, Paul van der Gaag, Pierre Lauffer Ensemble, Tijs Goldschmidt, Wim Rutgers

    This historical radio programme from the VPRO is one of the most popular programmes on Radio 1. This time it will broadcast live from The Hague as part of the Winternachten programme. Literary- historical subjects will be handled. One of the guests is Kees Lagerberg, a specialist in the recent history of West-Papua. The historical perception of 'The West' as seen by Dutch writers is the subject of the anthology Noordoostpassanten (North East transients), which will be published today. This anthology is compiled by Michael van Kempen, expert on Surinam literature, together with Wim Rutgers, expert on Antillean and Aruban literature. Another guest is biologist and writer Tijs Goldschmidt. Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Van Dis in Optima Forma

    Adriaan van Dis loves languages that 'make love to one another'. He calls it Loving Language. Recently he put together a whole edition of the literary magazine Optima about this very subject. He asked amongst others Abdelkader Benali, Michiel van Kempen, Ellen Ombre and Henk van Woerden to write an article about how for them - as van Dis puts it - 'ribs from one language intertwine with those of another language'. Once more van Dis allows during this conversation languages to make love to one another.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 2

    The Shallows in the West

    Beautiful holiday islands, pity of those drug-trafficers. Is that the image that the Dutch have of the Dutch Antilles? What should the Antillians think of the Netherlands, where the market is for these same drugs. Three poets give us their picture of The Netherlands and their own archipelago. Quito Nicolaas and Dax Hassel are from Aruba, and have lived in The Netherlands for some time. Poet and enthralling performer Gibi Bacilio is from Curaçao. They write their poetry in Papiamento, English and Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 2

    A Surinamese View on Holland

    Three Surinamese women have their own view on our country. Two of them live in Holland: dramatist Thea Doelwijt and journalist and writer Mala Kishoendajal. She recently published the novel Boegbeeld on the politician Tara Singh Varma, who simulated terminal illnesss. The new Surinamese writing talent Marylin Simons comes over from Suriname for Winternachten. She won the Kwakoe literature prize for the best debut of the year. Michiel van Kempen, expert on Surinamese literature, leads the discussion.

  • Tournee NL 2003

    Winternachten Rotterdam

    With: Gibi Bacilio, Kader Abdolah, Marylin Simons, Michiel van Kempen

    Why did the Antillian poet Gibi Bacilio and the Surinamese writer Marylin Simons return to their home countries after a long stay in The Netherlands? What made the Iranian fugutive writer Kader Abdolah choose for Holland? Dutch spoken.

    Tickets: 010 425 50 50.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Surinamese Love-Poetry from the Lowlands

    Our climate doesn't stop Surinam and Antillean poets from writing poems about love. With poets John Leefmans, Raj Ramdas and Soegiman Kromopawiro. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 2

    India in diaspora

    Three Surinamese-Hindustani writers who feel linked up to their ancestors in India, who were brought to Surinam as contract-labourers. Their emigration to Holland is a second diaspora. Although one of them, Jit Narain, went back to live in Surinam after a long stay in The Netherlands. Host: Michiel van Kempen (Dutch spoken).

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 2

    The Bombay Lessons

    What can we Europeans learn from Indian cities like Bombay? Host Lodewijk Brunt discussed this with Dutch writers Bas Heijne and Michiel van Kempen and Indian architect Ashok Bhalotra. About noise and over-population, things that people in Bombay have got used to for a long time (Dutch spoken).

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    Poetry and Displacement

    Wat will happen to you when you arrive in culture that is not your own? Hafid Bouazza, Judith Herzberg, Hugo Pos and Leo Vroman read their favourite poems on the theme of cultural displacement. 84-years old Dutch poet Leo Vroman took part by a live video-connection with the United States. Hosted by Michiel van Kempen. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    The Uncertain Journey

    Hugo Pos (Paramaribo, 1913-2000) was nestor of Surinamese-Dutch literature. Hij made his debut as a writer when he was 71 years of age. He discussed his work and his new book 'De ongewisse tijd'. Jan Brokken lives at Curaçao and from there travels around the world, searching for stories. In 'Jungle Rudy', he described a search through the jungles of Venezuela for the eccentric character of Rudy Truffino. The Aruban-Dutch writer Denis Henriquez presented his first travelling novel 'De zomer van Alejandro Bulos'. Hosted by Michiel van Kempen. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    Javanese Poetry from Surinam and The Netherlands

    Surinamese poet Surianto chose to write in Javanese, the language of the country of origin of his parents. He met Hersri, Javanese poet in The Netherlands. Hosted by Michiel van Kempen. Dutch/Javanese 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 2

    Surinamese and Papiamentu anthologies

    Jeroen Vullings presented a programme with two anthologists. Michiel van Kempen, editor of an anthology of Surinamese literature, talked to Aart Broek, editor of a recently published anthology of Papiamentu literature. Broek introduced three Antillian authors: Gibi Bacilio, a poet and performer form Curaçao, accompanied by percussionist Xavier Cordoba; Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao) and the Dutch Aruban writer Denis Henriquez. Michiel van Kempen introduced Antoine de Kom and Jit Narain, from Suriname.