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Rachel Raetzer new UG poet-in-residence

01 September 2017

Rachel Raetzer (21), student of European Languages and Cultures, has been appointed the new poet-in-residence at the University of Groningen for academic year 2017-2018. The jury was impressed by her witty, unique poems, which ‘give pause for thought and rereading’. Rachel Raetzer is the UG's eighteenth poet-in-residence and succeeds Esmé van den Boom.

Rachel Raetzer, copyright Reyer Boxem
Rachel Raetzer, copyright Reyer Boxem

In her winning poem, which starts ‘wij zijn de lettervreters’ (we are the letter-eaters),she gives readers an idea of the mindset of writers and poets. She portrays the importance and ubiquity of culture and arts programmes, expressing her concerns about cutbacks and decline: ‘Language and poetry are everywhere. This is what I want to stress with this poem and my term as poet-in-residence.’ As poet-in-residence, she hopes to write poems that move her readers and give them pause for thought.

Rachel Raetzer has been writing poetry since she was a child, gradually developing her own style. Much to her surprise, while at secondary school she reached the final of the poetry competition organized by the cultural student centre Usva. This year, she won this competition for up-and-coming talent and performed during the Poets in the Prinsentuin festival. She also recited her poetry at Eurosonic/Noorderslag (The European Music Conference and Showcase Festival) and as a guest poet at the Dichtclub. Next academic year, she will start the Master of Arts in Teaching German.

The jury, consisting of Professor of Modern Dutch Literature Mathijs Sanders (chair), writer and actor Lotte Dunselman and the current poet-in-residence Esmé van den Boom, was impressed by the quality of Raetzer’s work: ‘She manages to combine form control and craftsmanship with her own unique style.’ The jury has every faith in her ability to be a valuable ambassador of poetry in and around the University.

Opening of the academic year

Rachel Raetzer will make her début as poet-in-residence on Monday 4 September during the opening of the Academic Year in the Martinikerk. She will write poems for the UG website throughout the next academic year and be invited to read her poetry at numerous events.

For more information, please contact

Guus Termeer,, tel. +31 (0)50 3635464 or +31 (0)6 1268 4165.

Last modified:10 April 2018 12.35 p.m.

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