Ruben van Gogh
(Dokkum, the Netherlands, 1967) who used to call himself The Man of Language,is a performing poet, anthologist and host. His poetry has taken him from stages all over Holland to the far corners of Europe - Albania, among others. His voice is unique within Dutch poetry, combining clarity and wit with metaphysical aspirations. His work is available in the collection Aan het eind van het begin (At the End of the Beginning, 2001) and Zoekmachines (Search Engines, 2002). In January 2006, his collection Klein Oera Linda (Oera Linda Minor) appeared, a collection in experimental lay-out reflecting contemporary society and culture.
Van Gogh has been very active the last couple of years, all over the world: in 2003 he contributed to the Taipei International Poetry Festival in Taiwan, Dichter aan Huis in The Hague and the Stockholms Poesifestival. 2004 saw him performing in Milan and Biddinghuizen (Lowlands Festival). He presented at the Rotterdam Poetry International and performed in Germany. For Yo! Opera Festival he wrote two libretti for so-called 'Bus Opera's', as well as an ode to water..
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"Uit de bodemloze fundamenten van dit knekelrijk
rijst een nieuwe schijnwereld,
ontplooit zich leven à la opblaasboot."
(out of the bottomless/ foundations of this/charnel kingdom/rises a new fake world/life unfolds/like a rubber dinghy). Thus according to Hans Verhagen in his collection of poems Eeuwige Vlam (Eternal flame). Hans Verhagen and the poets Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer and Frank Koenegracht will read from their recent work. Later this evening, this time with Gerrit Komrij, they will return with a satirical poem, written as an assignment for Winternachten. Dutch spoken.
Do you feel lucky, punk? These famous words immediately bring an image to mind. Onno Kosters, who made his debut in 2004, turns these words into a poem. Poems inspired by photo's, tv images or comic books: Menno Wigman wrote poems inspired by old police photo's, Wim Brands wrote a poem on Tintin and Albertina Soepboer transformed her landscape photo's into poems. The poets will recite some of their work and will reveil their sources of inspiration.
The Poetry School organizes together with Winternachten a writers contest, involving two secondary schools from The Hague, the Johan de Witt College and the Terracollege. A special lesson program inspires hundreds of pupils to write poems about their vision of the future and their ideals. During a Poetry Slam session in the Theater aan het Spui, preceding the festival itself, they will present their poems. Tonight one of the winners will read his or her winning poem. Jury member and poet Ruben van Gogh will introduce the young poet.
Climbers of mount Olympus, romantic idealists, Doktor Spocks and bungyjumpers to hell, write themselves a poetic road to the future. Four poets and their vision: Pieter Boskma, Ruben of Gogh, Astrid Lampe and Christine Otten were commissioned by Winternachten to write a visionary poem. They recite their poems and discuss it with Joris van Casteren. Christine Otten is accompanied by saxophone player Jan Klug.
A multimedia poetry-show with primitive means as used in the old days: watch a Dutch slide-show with two young poets, and listen to them performing their poems.
Lasana M. Sekou is a poet from the Isle of St Maarten. He has a clear message on the history of slavery and forced migration. Together with Dutch performing poets Mustafa Stitou, Ruben van Gogh and Albertina Soepboer the theme of migration was further elaborated on. The South African poet Koos Kombuis put his poems to music. Swinging verse, combined with guitar music, performed in the theatre's foyer. In this same venue there was a performance of poet Jan Kees van de Werk. Hij read from his recent book De Vissenvrouw. The programme in this venue was presented by Basil Appollis. With his Capetonian coloured humour he also performed his own stand-up comedy.