Wanderlust program

Alma Mathijsen as writer in residence in New Orleans

6 Mar-6 May 2018

Alma Mathijsen has been selected as a writer in residence at Deltaworkers, New Orleans. Her residency takes place in the context of Wanderlust − a program for international talent development of the Dutch Foundation for Literature. During her residency in March and April 2018, she will do research for her fourth novel and for several essays on her personal experiences with the culture and history of Louisiana.

In the winter of 2016 Alma Mathijsen found herself on strangely familiar grounds while on a road trip through Louisiana and Mississippi. Strangely, because she had never been there or anywhere else in the Southern States before. While visiting several plantations in the area she wondered when in her life she had also looked the other way. The vast majority of the plantations tell beautiful stories about the lives of rich white rulers, and conveniently forget to mention the enslaved people. Things she saw made her realize that she too contributes to racism in society. What stories had she been telling herself in order to look away? Now what to do with that knowledge as a human being and a writer?

Alma Mathijsen (Amsterdam, 1984) earned her Bachelors Degree in Image & Language at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Creative Writing at Pratt Institute in New York. She is the author of six plays, a collection of short stories and three novels. Her first novel Everything is Carmen was published by The Busy Bee in 2011, followed by The Great Good Things. Her latest novel Forget the Girls has been critically acclaimed, and is nominated for the BNG Bank Literature Prize 2017.

Alma Mathijsen is the fourth young Dutch author that has been selected by Deltaworkers and the Dutch Foundation for a residency in New Orleans in the context of Wanderlust. Olivier Willemsen, Elfie Tromp and Jan van Tienen did research residencies at Deltaworkers in 2016 and 2017.

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