For budding Dutch poets

Following on from my piece about Utrecht gaining UNESCO City of Literature status, what exactly does that mean to the citizens of Utrecht? Are you all now in a position to write a novel yourselves or just relax in a place where you can enjoy literature with a clear conscience? What are you reading? Something Dutch or perhaps something from a country you’ve not tried before. I am Welsh but read a lot of Scandinavian Noir. Is that as big a thing over in Holland as it is in the UK? We are forever seeing Scandinavian crime films on British TV and they help push the Scandi message. What crime do you Dutchies like? I was a fan of Janwillem van de Wetering for a while. His crime stories are clever and intriguing at the same time. But did the Dutch police really work like that? I also enjoyed the writing of A. C. Baantjer. I see that used to be on Dutch TV for a long time.

On the literature front, if you don’t consider crime fiction literature, what about poetry? I see some Poetry Slams going on in Utrecht and they are always fun to attend, even if you are not presenting your own work. Speaking of which I was doing an on-line Poetry course and they wanted an instant poem writing. Thinking of a place and how you felt in that place, what smells there were, what you saw and the like, so I dashed off a piece, set in my favourite coffee shop on the Vismarkt titled amazingly enough:

Vismarkt Utrecht

Its early
The scent of
coffee and
Mint Tea
hangs in the air.
Tourists lost
and found
the Dom around
the corner
Colour is muted
the weather
Faces downcast
past my seat
as I sip my latte
and dream of Summer.


Now what can you do? Probably a lot better than that I’m sure. Why not have a go and send them to me? Find a place in Utrecht UNESCO City of Literature and write about it. Where is it?

What smells are there?

Any tastes?

What can you see?

Who can you see?

What can you hear?

Doesn’t have to rhyme, just have a go. Embrace your City of Literature!

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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1 Response

  1. Jon Wilkins says:

    A bit disappointed by the lack of poems appearing here. I’d have thought that with the sun beaming down and the chance to sit at a sidewalk cafe you would all have time to write something. Should I offer a prize to motivate you all?

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