Poetry International Poetry International

Director Bas Kwakman leaves Poetry International

Tineke de Lange
April 01, 2019
After sixteen years, Bas Kwakman is leaving his position as director of the Poetry International Foundation. Kwakman started in this role in 2003, undeniably making the annual Poetry International Festival a leading light in the national and international poetry world. For his contributions to international poetry, he received the prestigious Ioannes Paulus Bressensis award in Mexico City last year.
Kwakman looks back on his past festival editions and the foundation’s other activities with great pride. He fully trusts his successor and the Poetry International team to take the next steps, saying: “Poetry is doing well, not just locally, but nationally and internationally. The world is undergoing profound changes, and this presents a great opportunity to put together a poetry-centered program that plays a strong, visible role in these changing times.”

Bas Kwakman will next focus on his work as a writer and artist, and will still play a substantive and organizational role in the cultural sector. On Friday 14 June, during the 50th edition of the Poetry International Festival – 13 /16 June at Rotterdam’s de Doelen – Kwakman will present his new book In poëzie en oorlog ('In poetry and war', De Arbeiderspers), a personal account of fifty years of Poetry International and the sixteen years he led the organization.

The foundation’s board and office are immensely grateful to Bas Kwakman for his long-term commitment to the festival, and to poetry in the world, in our country, and in the city of Rotterdam. Dries van Ingen has taken over as acting director, and the search for a new director will begin shortly.
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère