Writer in residence program 2018

Rodrigo Blanco Calderón as WiR in Amsterdam

7 Mar-7 April 2018

In March and April 2018 Venezuelan author Rodrigo Blanco Calderón will be working and living as a writer-in-residence in Amsterdam, upon invitation by the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Rodrigo Blanco Calderón (1981) is a writer and publisher from Caracas, Venezuela. His short stories won several prizes and in 2009 he was proclaimed one of the best young Latin-American writers at the Hay Festival in Bogotá. In his debut novel The Night, which was named after a song by American indie rock-band Morphine, Blanco Calderón writes about many subjects: his country’s recent history, philosophy, language, and language games. Fact and fiction often get tangled, but ultimately the novel is mostly a critique on Venezuela’s current regime.

The Dutch translation of Blanco Calderón’s debut, which was published in Fall 2017 (De Bezige Bij; translation by Arie van der Wal), was well received.

During his residency Blanco Calderón will be working on his second novel, The Year of Mercy; the second part of a fictional portrait about the recent history of Venezuela that started with The Night. The Year of Mercy tells the story of Merlina Oñisanti, a gifted young medium guided by the spirit of Hélène Smith, the famous medium who was praised by figures in the surrealist movement, most notably André Breton. Because of her clairvoyance, a medley of political intrigues, spiritual battles and apocalyptic fears ensues in an era which can be described in J.M. Coetzee’s term as a post-religious age.


  • Wednesday 28 March, 7:30pm: Blanco Calderón will be discussing his novel The Night with Bart Gielen at Athenaeum Roeterseiland in Amsterdam.
  • Thursday 29 March: Starting at 2pm, Blanco Calderón will be discussing his work (in Spanish) at the Instituto Cervantes in Utrecht.
Maaike Pereboom


Maaike Pereboom

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