City of Asylum Pittsburgh: A Reading with Six Dutch Poets and The Living Room Chamber Music Project

by Joshua Barnes    /  March 31, 2012  / No comments

  1. COAP Reading: Six Dutch Poets
  2. City of Asylum Pittsburgh Logo
  3. • Tuesday, April 17, 7:00-8:45 PM
  4. • Opening reception: 7:00
  5. • Event: 7:30
  6. • FREE with a reservation
  7. (Please include: number in party, your name and the names of each person in your party)
  8. • COAP will confirm all reservations
  9. • Details about the specific locations will be sent before the event.

In collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s “Distinctively Dutch” festival, the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Kleine Revolutie Producties, and Lira City of Asylum/Pittsburgh (COAP), will present an “unusual evening of poetry and music.”

Six Dutch poets are slated to read in five different homes in the Mexican War Streets and the Northside branch of the Carnegie Library.

Attendees will be randomly assigned to a location where there will be a “chamber reading” featuring a poet and a musician from the Living Room Chamber Music Project working in collaboration. According to COAP, each of these experiences will be completely unique, and feature either pianos, violin, oboe, or vocal performance.

After the chamber readings, all groups will walk to the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church where the poets will each read one poem and the musicians will play ensemble, allowing all in attendance a chance to hear the artists.




The Poets

Pieter Boskma
(1956) Boksma made his debut with the book of poetry Quest (1987). Since then he has published twelve volumes of poetry, of which Het violette uur (‘The violet hour’, 2008), Doodsbloei (2010) and Mensenhand (2012) are the most recent ones. He also published the novel Een foto van God (‘A picture of God’, 1993) and a book of short stories, Westerlingen (‘Westerners’, 2006).


Hélène Gelèns
(1967) Gelèns is a writer of poetry, essays and short prose. Her debut niet beginnen bij het hoofd (2006) was shortlisted for the C. Buddingh’ Prize for New Dutch Poetry and her second collection of poetry zet af en zweef (2010) was awarded the prestigious Jan Campert Prize. A third collection will be published this fall. Gelèns’s poetry has been translated into five languages.




Erik Jan Harmens
(1970) Harmens is a novelist, poet and performer. In 2002 he was crowned the first Dutch National Poetry Slam champion. In 2003 he published his first collection of poetry In menigten (‘In crowds’). The English language played an important role in his 2005 collection Underperformer which was awarded numerous Dutch poetry honors, followed by Gospels en Psalmen in 2008. His first novel Kleine doorschijnende man (‘Little Transparent Man’) was published in 2007. His second novel and fourth collection of poems will be published in 2012.

Lucas Hirsch
(1975) Hirsch is the author of two collections of poems, familie gebiedt (2006) and tastzin ( 2009). He is also a literary agent for the Flemish magazine DWB. In 2007, Lucas founded a small literary production company called ‘Kleine Revolutie Producties’ with which he organizes literary events around Haarlem. In 2011 he was artist-in-residence at Ledig House, Art Omi, New York. In May 2012 his new book of poetry will be published. Hirsch has coordinated this event with City of Asylum/Pittsburgh.


John Schoorl
(1961) Schoorl is a award-winning reporter and investigative journalist from the Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant. As a poet he made his debut in 2007 with A Capella and two years later he came with Uitloopgroef (‘Run-out-groove’): Poetry as a hidden track of his favorite songs. He also made an anthology of Dutch poetry about Elvis. He lives with his wife and three kids in a small village, just across a statue of Hansje Brinker, the boy who puts his finger in the dike.


Joost Zwagerman
(1963) Zwagerman is considered to be one of the leading writers of his generation. He has published several collections of essays, four collections of poetry, and six novels. There has also been a film, directed by Theo van Gogh, based on one of his books. Zwagerman was also at TV host for several years. He hosted the talk show in which Ayaan Hirsi Ali showed her controversial short movie “Submission“. Zwagerman’s novels have been translated into several languages in Europe. In 2008 he received the prestigious Gouden Ganzenveer (Golden Quill), a lifetime achievement award.

About the Author

Joshua Barnes is Sampsonia Way's Associate Editor. In 2010 he earned a bachelor’s degree in Fiction Writing and Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. During his undergraduate career, he was awarded 2009′s Ossip Award in Critical Writing for Anna Kavan: A Critical Study. Josh is involved with several musical projects and working on a variety of multi-media narratives.

View all articles by Joshua Barnes

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