Esmé van den Boom (23) is the new University of Groningen poet. Van den Boom, who is taking a Master’s degree in Writing, Editing and Mediating, impressed the jury with her ‘intimate, understated poems’ that are rhythmic and linguistically strong and evoke surprisingly beautiful images. She is the seventeenth University poet and follows in the footsteps of Philip Rozema.
In her winning poem ‘Outline: Collecties’, Van den Boom writes about the refurbished University Library and how in this digital era students acquire knowledge and have to cobble together an identity. Van den Boom wants her poems to challenge students to see and think differently. ‘Poetry should tell us what it really feels like to be human, particularly nowadays when we project the most flattering profile photo possible of ourselves online in only two dimensions’.
Esmé van den Boom has been active as a writer for a number of years already, as a poet and as a singer-songwriter under the stage name ‘Mees’. She has performed at the Dichters in de Prinsentuin festival and worked on the Poetsvrouwen project during the Poëziemarathon 2016. She was chair of the student association Literair Dispuut Flanor and sat on the editorial board of the Poëziemarathon. She is currently student member of the University of GroningenCommissie Gastschrijverschap, a committee that chooses the University’s writer-in-residence.
The jury, comprising Sanne Parlevliet (chair), Marleen Nagtegaal, Ronald Ohlsen and Philip Rozema, has every confidence that the work of the new University poet will appeal to students and that she will succeed in her mission of offering a new perspective on the University, student life and, above all, life itself.
Esmé van den Boom will debut as University poet at the opening of the academic year in the Martini Kerk on Monday 5 September. She will write poems for the University website and perform at various events during the academic year.
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