Gerhard te Winkel brings Utrecht poetry to life

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I was fortunate to make contact with Gerhard te Winkel who according to his web site is a cultural entrepreneur. He makes good quality projects with social relevance.  Gerhard says:

‘I like working with artists, officials, and publishers. For example, I created the project and the poetry collection Parade der Poëten with Uitgeverij Magonia”

It was this collection of poems that created a great deal of interest as it celebrates Utrecht and is written by Utrechters.

I asked what gave him the idea to commission this book of poetry?

I became ‘stadsdichter’ of Leusden, my hometown. I asked Alexis de Roode form the Utrechtse Stadsdichters Gilde to help me make a plan for a book. We both wanted to leave something permanent from our period as ‘stadsdichter’. He was Guildmaster.

Is the poetry scene thriving in Utrecht?

There are a lot of poets in the city of Utrecht and in the province. There are City Poets, Wijk bij Duurstede. The Library in Amersfoort for instance helps a lot of writers. There are slams and people like me try to promote poetry. We try to catch the attention by showing poetry at unusual places. I taught people to write erotic poetry and the huishoudbeurs in The RAI Amsterdam. In Utrecht there’s the Literatuurhuis, who organise a lot of events. There is the VorleseBuhne run by Bernhard Christiansen and Andre van Zwieten in Wijk bij Duurstede does a lot of good work.

What piece of work(s) in the book are you most proud of?

First of all the idea and the plan I wrote with Alexis. It was an enormous job to get the job done. Some people were scared by the challenge, but I did it. There are some beautiful poems in the book about Amersfoort, the Russisch Ereveld, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Toren, Huis Doorn and de Moespot in Achterveld.

What is the age range of the poets?

10-80

Where is your favourite place in Utrecht?

Walking by the Valleikanaal.

What would be a perfect day in Utrecht for you?

Walking in Leusden, lunch and talking with friends. There are so many cultural sites you hardly notice you are there.

Does Utrecht do enough for creative arts?

Hard to say. I got lots of help. But I hear other stories. It is kind of strange. Most of the time, there is no money, but when people want to help, there is lots of money.

Check out his website here.

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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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