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Martin Rombouts

Martin Rombouts - foto Jante Wortel
Martin Rombouts - foto Jante Wortel

(Rotterdam, 1992) is a writer, maker and performer. In 2017, he graduated from ArtEZ Creative Writing with the post-truth non-fiction novella I want to climb the mountain, for which he was selected for the Dutch Foundation for Literature's Slow Writing Lab talent programme. He has published on ABCyourself, in Tirade and in the Oerol Dagkrant, and performed at Lowlands, the Wintertuinfestival and at Perdu, among others. Rombouts is a member of De Literaire Boyband, who releases its debut EP In Canon January 2023. Together with musician-artist Willie Darktrousers and with performers Dean Bowen and Maxime Garcia Diaz, he created the music and spoken word performance Poetic Resistance: a poetic indictment of anger and resistance. Can a demonstration be a poem, a manifesto an art object? Especially for the closing programme of Winternachten festival 2023, they made new work together in response to the question: what is the raw material of the poem?

(WN 2023)

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  • Winternachten 2023

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems)

    With: Alara Adilow, Asha Karami, Caro Derkx, Dean Bowen, Irina Baldini, Johan van Dijke, Maarten van der Graaff, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Martin Rombouts, Marwin Vos, Maxime Garcia Diaz, Mustafa Stitou, Willie Darktrousers

    For the closing event of the 2023 Winternachten festival, poets and artists seeked out the raw material of poems. How do the violence of resource extraction, the destruction of lives and worlds, and the depletion of Earth become audible and palpable in language? What are poems made of: can they, too, plunder and harm?

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems) was a Dutch-language event with familiar and new voices, unexpected performances, dance, music and images.

    Anyone who opens a children's book about a farm does not see hyper-modern, destructive industry, but lovely scenes. This obfuscation of reality, according to British zoologist, author and activist George Monbiot, is due to persistent images about our dealings with animals and land, borrowed from poetry. "One of the greatest threats to life on Earth is poetry," he wrote provocatively.

    Yet the plundering of Earth has indeed made its way into modern poetry. In the poem Sinaasappel, bitter je schil (Orange, bitter your peel) by Surinamese poet Michaël Slory, the minerals themselves bear witness to that history:

    'Op Afobaka wil ik zijn
    als de arbeiders staken,
    de morgen zich boort
    in de papaya,
    het bauxiet woedend zingt
    over zoveel misbruik,
    zoveel leugens
    zoveel misleiding.'

    ("On Afobaka I want to be
    when the workers strike,
    the morning drills itself
    into the papaya,
    the bauxite sings furiously
    about so much abuse,
    so many lies
    so much deception.")

    Bookstore De Vries van Stockum will be present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others — including signing opportunities!

    De grondstof van het gedicht was curated by poet and writer Maarten van der Graaff.