Poetry slam report


This is a Dutch video about the national poetry slam championship 2007.

Tonight, there was a poetry slam.

There were eight poets in the first round.

Anton Born and Gerard Beentjes, who had been announced, weren’t there. Martin Aart de Jong had been added as a substitute.

First on stage was Rudolf Schinkel. The subjects of his poems included a ghost ship, and seasonal changes.

Then, Gerrit Vennema with poems about visual arts and other subjects.

Then, Simon Mulder, with sonnets, and a rondel.

Then yours truly, with poems about a truck, a ladybug, and the war in Iraq.

After a pause, again four first round poets.

First was Zapatero. Not the prime minister of Spain, but the stage name of Niels Schoenmaker from Brabant province in the southern Netherlands. He said that for the time being, this was his last time reading his poetry on stage; as he was too busy with his graphic design work.

Then, Floor Margarita Cornelisse; also known as Upperfloor, a visual artist as well, from Rotterdam.

Then, Makkia W, fourteen years old. It was her first time reading her poetry on stage. She had been on a stage with a big audience once before: at her (theater) school, as a singer. Since that time, she had also started playing guitar. Upperfloor told her she looked great in her black lace dress with low neckline. The subjects of her poems included silence and water.

Finally, Martin Aart de Jong, with poems on various subjects, including smoking.

Then, no poetry on stage, but singer-songwriter-guitarist Kittywake from Utrecht (stage name of Anne Broekman; almost, but not quite, the same as the bird species kittiwake). She could plug in her guitar at an amplifier of the café, so she did not have to bring her own amp. Her songs were somewhat reminiscent of Janis Ian. Upperfloor complimented her with the split in her dress. She would play again after the second round. It was her first gig ever here, and her second gig ever with poets: she had done that once before, in Amsterdam.

Then, the jury had to decide which poets would go to the next round. They chose Upperfloor, Martin Aart de Jong, and Simon Mulder. They said that for the fourth second round spot, it had been difficult to make up their minds between yours truly (“varied and socially relevant poetry”) and Makkia W. Finally, they had chosen Makkia.

In the second round, Upperfloor’s poems included one about how a car had run into her; and the problems that the brain concussion which resulted had caused her. She and Martin Aart de Jong made it to the final round. There, her interaction with the audience helped her to become the overall winner, according to the jury. Martin Aart de Jong was the winner, according to the audience. Both of them will be in the final round in the autumn of next year.

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