August 29, 2013

Ties Leenstra is the new children’s poet laureate of Groningen

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 5:00 am

The city of Groningen elected 11-year-old Ties Leenstra as its new children’s poet laureate last Saturday, Po√ęziepaleis reports.

No examples of young master Leenstra’s poetry are given, but apparently his points of view are surprising and his words expressive. Leenstra, who recited his entries from memory, follows in the footsteps of Groningen’s first children’s poet laureate, 12-year-old Sifra Kramer who was also a member of the jury. Asked if he wants to be an important poet when he grows up, Leenstra answered: “No, I’d rather do something else.” Leenstra’s duties involve writing four poems a year.

Kramer’s poems can be read here.

The national young poet laureate Joanne Hoekstra from Augsbuurt in Friesland was elected earlier this year on 2 June.

(Photo by Enric Martinez, some rights reserved)

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August 15, 2012

Rotterdames, 3 times 52 odes to the women of Rotterdam

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 11:11 pm

The name may be a bit unfortunate—rot means the same thing in Dutch as it does in English—but what were they to do?

They being three artists who post their own odes to the women of Rotterdam each week at Rotterdames.net, creating a vivid cross section of the second-largest city of the Netherlands in the process. Baschz is the sketch artist, Milan Boonstra the photographer and Janjoost Jullens the writer of the website.

According to De Weekkrant, the artists have already published more than 100 odes and are well on their way to their goal of 156 odes.

The news site quotes Janjoost Jullens about what makes the women of Rotterdam so special: “They are real, more real than anywhere else. They do not need to be pretty in a model kind of way. In Amsterdam the ladies look beautiful from a distance, but when you get closer you see it is all fake. In Rotteram what you see is what you get. We would like to thank the women of Rotterdam for that. Our odes are really a sort of ‘thank you’.”

And in that spirit I would like to tip my hat to Rotterdame Astrid Oosenburg for telling me about this initiative.

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