The Haarlemse Dichtlijn is the name of an organisation. Besides their monthly poetry meetings they organise a yearly festival on Ascension Day in Haarlem. The theme of the festival is a line from a poem by Martin van Vijfeijke: ‘De zon van gisteren’, yesterdays sun. This is also the title of the bundle which helps fund the event. It contains one poems by each participant.
Marten Janse welcomed everybody at the opening of the festival at the Noord-Hollands Archief. Jaap Robben warmed the crowd with an overview of his work. Martin van Vijfeijke presented the first copy of the bundle to the mayor of Haarlem Jos Wienen.
The event has three rounds and six stages. The stages are within a three-minute walk from each other. The problem is you can only visit three different stages. The poets take part in one or two rounds. They will not perform twice on the same stage. To help you make the best choice the six hosts each pitched their own stage.
The city poet Willemien Spook closed the opening ceremony
The first round I visited Hof 20 where host Mascha Tielemans was drawn into the performance by Dick Kreuger. Mischa van Huijstee rather wanted to be taken care of as a lost seal pup, but that might not be the best answer in a job interview. Conny Veenings-Molenaar was the bravest poet of all and shared the most personal poetry.
The second round I spend at café Koops, one of the sponsors of the festival, where Rob Wtenweerde shared his hillarious songs. Don’t think poetry is a creative brain training for the elderly. Iris, Angela, Mette and Julius reduced the average age with a couple of decades. Iris Besseling had a warning for her previous and future lovers, but she also shared what she has in store… I had high expectations of Mette van Dijk and she delivered, just like Julius Spin.
The last round took me back to the Noord-Hollands Archief where Rob Alphenaar organised a lottery to decide the order. Introductions and interviews? No, Rob gave the poets time to share their work.
The best way to enjoy the photo’s is to click on the ‘View full size’ link at the bottom right of the screen below the photo.
Opening at the Noord-Hollands Archief
Hof 20 Round 1
Café Koops Round 2
Noord-Hollands Archief Round 3