Winternachten 2012

Shortlist VSB Poetry Prize

Days before the announcement of the winner of the VSB Poetry Award, the five nominees read at the festival. Peter Ghyssaert, Jan Lauwereyns, Willem Jan Otten, Erik Spinoy and Anne Vegter will recite their work. The VSB Poetry Award is being … read more

Anne Vegter, Erik Spinoy, Jan Lauwereyns, Nicole Terborg, Peter Ghyssaert, Willem Jan Otten

Changá: The great Dubbelspel (Double Play) Translation Game

Finally the great Curaçaoan novel Dubbelspel (Double Play) by Frank Martinus Arion has appeared in Papiamento. Tonight we'll test the knowledge of Papiamento of the Curaçaoans, Bonaireans and Arubans living in the Netherlands. How to translate the … read more

Eric Molina, Frank Martinus Arion, Gilbert Wawoe, Igma van Putte, Margi Martinus, Olga Orman, Ruben Severina

Nigeria and Oil: The Book and the Movie

Journalist and writer Helon Habila wrote an acclaimed novel on the effects of oil-drilling in Nigeria. For Dutch tv Thomas Blom made a high-profile documentary on the same subject: Shell in Nigeria. This led to the company being brought to book in a … read more

Bert Jansma, Helon Habila, Thomas Blom

Rode Rozen (Red Roses)

Rode Rozen makes intimate musical theatre and looks for an autonomous  combination between text and music. Composer Allard van den Bremen and theatre writer Renée van Marissing earlier made performances for the Van Gogh Museum, among others, and … read more

Nicole Terborg, Rode Rozen

Poetry and Politics

A Lebanese and a Turkish writer, who, apart from being a poet and a writer, happen to be concerned columnists. A conversation about their work, their political stand and literary commitment. In English. read more

Bejan Matur, Bram Vermeulen, Joumana Haddad

Extaze - debutants from The Hague

Cor Gout of the The Hague liiterary magazine Extaze selected six debutants, who read from their own work: Ronnie Krepel, Gertrude Kunze, Nina Roos, Murat Tuncel, Theo van der Wacht and Hugo Wapperom. Host: Paul van der Gaag. Dutch spoken. read more

Gertrude Kunze, Hugo Wapperom, Murat Tuncel, Nicole Terborg, Nina Roos, Paul van der Gaag, Ronnie Krepel, Theo van der Wacht

Lust and Colour

What about sexual relationships between white and black in post-apartheid South Africa? Do women in Brazil, which swelters with eroticism, move as freely as it seems? Dutch men, fantasising about black women - and the other way round. Kopano Matlwa, … read more

Edney Silvestre, Kopano Matlwa, Robert Vuijsje, Wim Brands

Dream Language

'Come to me, my language, come back', Derek Walcott wrote. How does it feel to write in another language than your own? Does this new language also become the language in which you dream? Asis Aynan presents Ahmad Al Malik, Rodaan Al Galidi, Raj … read more

Ahmad Al Malik, Asis Aynan, Chika Unigwe, Lourens van Haaften, Raj Mohan, Rodaan Al Galidi

Family Ties

A discussion between Bernice Chauly (Malaysia) and Edney Silvestre (Brazil) about choking family ties and how religious and cultural pressure destroy dreams and frustrate loves. Host: Nicole Lefever. In English. Edney Silvestre replaces Mansoura ez … read more

Bernice Chauly, Edney Silvestre, Nicole le Fever

The Dutch Spring

The Arab Spring created a stir in the Netherlands. Perhabs secretly we long for a Dutch Spring too. What would our country look like after such a spring? Writers, tell us! read more

Kader Abdolah, Naïma Azough, Nazmiye Oral, Tommy Wieringa

Surinamese dreams

'I have a Dream!' Noraly Beyer presents three Dutch/Surinamese authors (Karin Amatmoekrim, Anil Ramdas, Sheila Sitalsing), who will read a column inspired by the famous speech by the reverend King. What do the writers expect and hope for the future … read more

Anil Ramdas, Karin Amatmoekrim, Noraly Beyer, Sheila Sitalsing

Thought for the Festival

We conclude this edition of the festival with a comforting, humorous, or fatalistic last festival thought by Rodaan Al Galidi, before we dance into the night. Rodaan Al Galidi attends the whole Writers Unlimited Winternachten festival and will share … read more

Nicole Terborg, Rodaan Al Galidi

Writers reading

Enjoy the work of the writers you have come to see. They read old and new work.  Without further ado and without discussion, introduced by Nicole Terborg. Dutch and English. read more

Edney Silvestre, Nicole Terborg, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Said el Haji

Writers reading

Enjoy the work of the writers you have come to see. They read old and new work. Without further ado and without discussion. In English. read more

Bejan Matur, Dinaw Mengestu, Nicole Terborg

Who's Afraid of Youth

Pupils of Haags Montessori Lyceum and het Diamant College climb the stage and recite poems of their own. More than ten hours of poetry lessons they have behind them. Inspiration came from poet Maarten Inghels, who visited them in class and read … read more

Faya, Maarten Inghels, Nicole Terborg

Comics and taboos

Time to put the comic strip in the picture! Comic strip reviewer Peter Breedveld talks to Inge Heremans (Ilah), who breaks taboos with her cartoon Cordelia, and Peter Milligan, scriptwriter of X-Men, Batman and Hellblazer, among others, who succeeds … read more

Inge Heremans, Peter Breedveld, Peter Milligan

Dream Birds

Bernlef is one of Holland's finest poets; Ramsey Nasr has made a name for himself as - among many other things - Poet Laureate, and Like Marsman is an important up-and-coming talent. Their poetry readings are introduced by the lyrics of Trio … read more

Bernlef, Lieke Marsman, Ramsey Nasr, Trio Droomvogels

Should we love one another?

Writer Bas Heijne and the British philosopher John Gray take a closer look at the secret of the success of populist parties, against the background of ongoing globalisation and the changing balance of power. Populist parties consider freedom of … read more

Bas Heijne, John Gray

Forgive or Forget

Can we learn from history or is humanity doomed to go on repeating the same mistakes for ever? Did the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission bring just that or did it yield anger and division? Do Indonesia and the Netherlands suffer from … read more

Adriaan van Dis, Anil Ramdas, Kopano Matlwa, Leila Chudori

Wet Dreams on a Winter's Night

Four liberated writers about the joys of shamelessness. Petra Stienen hosts a discussion on writing about sex, the narrow-minded reactions of (some) men and their 'je m'en fou' attitude vis-a-vis conservative readers. A conversation without … read more

Astrid Theunissen, Bernice Chauly, Joumana Haddad, Marion Bloem, Petra Stienen

Dancing into the night with Manar

Dekka al Marrakchia, folkloric music from the south of Morocco, and Gnawa, the music which boosts the communication between the daily and spiritual world. Stirring sounds of the six strong band Manar, making you want to dance. read more


Workshop Danser a Deux: Cuban Son Dance

Seize the opportunity to learn the Cuban Son dance under the inspiring leadership of Morry Krispijn of dancing school Salsaventura. Music by DJ Jairzinho. The merry Danser à Deux programme has been developed by the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam-Noord and … read more

DJ Jairzinho, Salsaventura

Poetry Jam

An on-stage meeting of Trio Koenijn and Najiba Abdellaoui in music and poetry. They nor we know exactly what will happen. Only the frames have been set within which it is the improvisation which determines the rhythm of the encounter. read more

Najiba Abdellaoui, Nicole Terborg, Trio Koenijn

How to be a Dictator in Africa

Writers put themselves in the shoes of African dictators. They take us with them in the spirit of the once so optimistic leaders who, after the independence of their countries, turned into dictators one by one. In doing so these writers try to give … read more

Andrew Makkinga, David Van Reybrouck, Dinaw Mengestu, Helon Habila

Trio Koenijn

Wilko Sterke (piano and sax), Frank van Kasteren (guitar) and philosopher Koenijn sing melancholic and oldfashioned as well as brand new songs. Trio Koenijn is part of the Circus Treurdier, a young musical theatre company made up of graduates of … read more

Nicole Terborg, Trio Koenijn

Who's Afraid of Youth

Pupils of SG Johan de Witt and Lyceum Ypenburg climb the stage and recite poems of their own. More than ten hours of poetry lessons they have behind them. Inspiration came from poet Marjolijn van Heemstra, who visited them in class and read poetry … read more

Faya, Marjolijn van Heemstra, Nicole Terborg, Trio Koenijn

Mad as Hell - part 2

Hadjar Ben Miloud, Massih Hutak and Nii Ayikwei Parkes enter the stage one by one and for a couple of minutes turn off their sense of nuance, eventualities, 'perhaps this could be seen from another perspective' and other footnotes. On stage it is … read more

Hadjar Benmiloud, Massih Hutak, Nicole Terborg, Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Mad as Hell - part 3

Joumana Haddad and Özcan Akyol enter the stage one by one and for a couple of minutes turn off their sense of nuance, eventualities, 'perhaps this could be seen from another perspective' and other footnotes. On stage it is the belly of literature … read more

Joumana Haddad, Nicole Terborg, Özcan Akyol

Mad as Hell - part 1

rant   verb (used without object) 1.   to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way What happens if the rules of good taste, false decency and rippling nuance are put aside? If for a matter of minutes the heart is … read more

Khadija Massaoudi, Nicole Terborg

Treasure hunters

History is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for writers. Arthur Japin usually bases himself on historic events and characters. Where in his work does he draw the line between fact and the imagination? And how does an experienced writer of … read more

Annejet van der Zijl, Arthur Japin, Paul van der Gaag, Said el Haji

A tribute to Hella S. Haasse & Jan Campert Awards

In cooperation with the Haasse Estate and Publisher Querido Writers Unlimited organises a tribute in the Koninklijke Schouwburg: a festive meeting in which the richness and diversity of her life and work are celebrated. Willem Nijholt reads from … read more

Arjan Peters, Benny Lindelauf, Ellen van Lelyveld, Elsbeth Etty, Erik Spinoy, Gustaaf Peek, Kees 't Hart, Loes Luca, Margot Dijkgraaf, Marijn van Lelyveld, Matthijs Ponte, Maxim Februari, Patricia de Groot, Pieter Steinz, Rudi Wester, Willem Nijholt

African Meet & Greet in Dakota Theater

This year Writers Unlimited goes into town, organising informal meetings with the foreign writers. On Saturday 21 January the festival hits Theater Dakota, for a Meet & Greet with the African writers Helon Habila (winner of the Commonwealth Writers … read more

Adejoke Babington-Ashaye, Helon Habila, Kopano Matlwa, Nancy-Josee Ntumba Ciakudia, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Vamba Sherif

NRC Reading Club Live: The Great Gatsby

A tradition at the Writers Unlimited festival. This time the Reading Club tackles F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. A classic novel in which the American Dream and other possible dreams occupy the minds of those in it. Pieter Steinz, Elsbeth … read more

Bas Heijne, Elsbeth Etty, Gustaaf Peek, Pieter Steinz

Oxfam Novib PEN Awards

With the PEN Awards, Oxfam Novib and PEN Nederland honour writers, journalists and film makers who, going against the tide and sometimes risking their own lives, search for the truth and spread it. Tom van der Lee, of Oxfam Novib, gives a brief … read more

Bejan Matur, Hassnae Bouazza, Kader Abdolah, Leila Chudori, Lionel Veer, Tom van der Lee

Winternachten Lecture

Literature as a Way of Seeing Nigerian journalist/writer Helon Habila opens the festival with a lecture about literature as the art of seeing. Those who witness injustice can look away or walk away. A real writer, argues Habila, can't, because the … read more

Bas Heijne, Helon Habila, Henk Pröpper, Jan Brokken, Pearlmira Vincent