Poetry festival Haarlem 2023

On Ascension Day, May 18, 2023, the poetry festival of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn will settle in and around the Verhalenhuis in Haarlem. The program provides parallel programming over three rounds, spread over 4 stages.

Joshua Baumgarten opens the festival at 1 p.m. Door open at 12.30 p.m. Renske Leijten receives the first copy of the festival bundle. The presenters for this edition are: Ingrid Elsing of the poetry club of the Kennemer Boekhandel, Yvonne Weijers, interpreter of sung poetry by Emily Dickinson and Elly de Waard, Jan Hoekema, debate leader at the Pletterij, and city pastor Tom de Haan.

I myself have been assigned to Jan Hoekema in the 1st round and Tom de Haan in the 2nd round.

Visiting the festival is free, but reservations are required. You can order a zero-euro-ticket on the Verhalenhuis website, click here.

Poetry bundle

Also this year, especially for this occasion, a beautiful festival bundle will be published, in which a new poem is included by each participating poet.
You can purchase the bundle during the festival for only 12 euros. Herewith you support the festival, so the festival can be organized next year as well and you take home a beautiful memory. Also great as a gift to someone else.


The theme this year is: plot… (as in the plot of a story). Nonetheless, the poets are free to make their own poetry. During the festival, there is room for each poet (per round) to recite three poems.

Yes, I’ll definitely recite the poem that is in the bundle! For now, I’ll keep the other poems to myself, but they will also be poems that I haven’t recited before. Come and let yourself be surprised!

Traveling by public transport?

From Haarlem CS station, take bus line 3 towards IJmuiden, get off at the Spaarnhovenstraat stop. Cross the road to the Verhalenhuis (Story House).

Foto van voordacht tijdens poëzie podium van oktober 2022 van de Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

Recitation during the poetry stage of October 2022, Haarlemse Dichtlijn, in the Verhalenhuis.

Photo by Geek Zwetsloot.

Haarlemse Dichtlijn, Open Stage October 11, 2022

YES, I’ll perform my poetry once more in Haarlem!

Almost every second Tuesday of the month, the Haarlemse Dichtlijn organizes an open stage for poetry. On October 11, this will be at the new location: Het Verhalenhuis at Van Egmondstraat 7, 2024 XL in Haarlem. The program starts at 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Entry starts at 7:30 pm.
Admission is free, but for the number of seats, it is necessary to make a reservation on the Verhalenhuis website.

If you want to be there, don’t wait but book immediately, and we’ll see each other on October 11th. What I’m going to present … come visit and you’ll find out ;)!


From Haarlem CS station, location can be reached in about 10 minutes with bus line 3 in the direction of IJmuiden, get off at bus stop Spaarnhovenstraat.

Poetry Festival Haarlem 2022

A successful festival

For those who were not there and for those who were there and want to reminisce…

Below you find my poem, which is published in the poetry collection Vicit, Vim, Virtus. The English translation you can find below the photo.

Vicit, Vim, Virtus is a publication of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn, published on the occasion of the annual Poetry Festival, on Ascension Day.
The bundle is for sale during events of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn. More information and the agenda for future events can be found at the website of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

On the front-cover we find the specially designed illustration by Ben Imhoff.

Overall Design by Lizeanne Voorhout.

Cover of poetry collection: Vicit, Vim, Virtus.
Image of poem by Zatarra Rafaël for poetry collection Vicit Vim Virtus
Image of the back cover of poetry collection Vicit, Vim, Virtus.

I finally got there,
the journey has been long
Clarity and Consciousness as companions
can burn and shatter
Ask Icarus, he knows all about it…
Can clarify reality
so that beauty becomes visible

experience after experience

life after life
cycle after cycle

Words can cut
like knives in hearts
Words can connect
like a boat two shores
Words can love
like roses, velvety soft
Words can remind
of what you really are

Experience remains Master
Wisdom the insight

Are you ready for it?

© Zatarra Rafaël, 2022

Vicit, Vim, Virtus

courage has overcome violence

Performing Poetry, OBA, Open Stage

A year later than the original planning, it finally will happen.
On June 25, 2022 I will return to the Open Stage in the Central Public Library at the Oosterdok in Amsterdam (OBA). We will start at 2 pm. I’m really looking forward to it and would love to meet you!

Entrance is free, you can order the free tickets from the OBA via the link below: Please note: this event is in Dutch.


Poetry Festival Ascension Day in Haarlem

After two years of festival silence, this year’s Poetry Festival will take place on Ascension Day, May 26, 2022.
At 12 pm we start a beautiful afternoon full of poetry. The auditorium of the beautiful monumental city palace House Hodshon in Haarlem forms the backdrop. The accompanying festival bundle will be presented and many poets, including myself, will recite their poems. Shall we meet at this beautiful location on the Spaarne in the city heart of Haarlem?

This year’s festival theme is taken from the motto of the city of Haarlem: Vicit Vim Virtus – ‘courage has conquered violence’. Those who go for it, achieve it! It turns out to be a timeless saying. In this way words connect present, past and future.

Have you become as curious as I am, whether the times of yesteryear and now will flow together on this special poetic afternoon? Come and listen to all the beautiful poems from the festival bundle, which you can also purchase as a souvenir, so that you can enjoy all the other days of the year. By purchasing the bundle you sponsor the festival, so that we can continue to enjoy all the beauty that poetry has to offer for a long time to come and many more editions of the Poetry Festival, organized by the Haarlemse Dichtlijn, can take place.

A week before the festival you can find the day program on the website of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn.
My performance will take place in the first round starting at noon.

You can find more (background) information about the Hodshon House on the foundation’s website Hendrick de Keyser.

Open Stage for Poetry, Amsterdam.


Saturday November 27th, 2021 at the Central OBA(Library), Amsterdam.
I’ll perform my poetry at the Open Stage for Poetry, when Corona allows it to take place.
So mark the date in your agenda, I’ll love to meet you. More information will follow in November.

Due to Corona, my presentation for the Open Podium in the OBA
in Amsterdam on 27 November 2021 has been cancelled.
Hopefully we can meet again in the OBA in the spring of 2022.
More information will follow, on this news page and in the agenda.

Open Stage Bourtange

On June 17, 2021, a new stage was born, the Open Stage Bourtange.
Where I performed in a natural setting, the Silent Poem for the 3rd time.

The Silent Poem has a number of recurring elements, but is mainly formed in the moment and continuous to evolve. This time, there wasn’t only a dynamic between me and the audience, nature also contributed. Fluttering dancing butterflies and a beautiful lily pond formed a magical backdrop.

After evaluation of the organization and audience, it’s almost certain, the Open Stage Bourtange will see a 2nd edition.

Foto van de Lelie vijver, locatie van het Open Podium.

Great Poetry News!

After some cancellations, finally I have good news to share!
Upcoming Friday June 18th, I’ll perform my poetry at ‘t Kleverhuis in Haarlem, starting at 4 pm. Language is Dutch.
Safe your space at the arena fast, as seats are very limited.
You can order your free ticket by Lieneke,

For more information:

Maerten van Heemskerckstraat 69a in Haarlem Noord

It’s a beautiful city-park-walk from approximate 10 minutes from Haarlem Central Station.