Dutch Poet Laureate

Lieke Marsman

25 January 2021

Lieke Marsman has been appointed as the new Poet Laureate of the Netherlands. The next two years she will write poems on the occasion of national events and act as poetry ambassador. She is the youngest Dutch Poet Laureate to date.

The committee that choses the Poet Laureate commented:

“Marsman is a poet who like no other knows how to give lyricism a function in the inescapable reality; who gives a new meaning to the words used to describe the world and current events, which makes her voice irrefutable and at times touchingly true. […] She combines tenderness with transparency, erudition with humor, simplicity with depth. Marsman’s politically and feministically charged texts and performances also have an effect with a larger audience. For this reason too, she will be an excellent Poet Laureate.”

Lieke Marsman was inaugurated on Thursday 21 january in a festive poetry night organized by Tilt. Marsman succeeds Tsead Bruinja, who has been the Dutch Poet Laureate for the last two years.

Lieke Marsman

Lieke Marsman (1990) has been writing poetry for over fifteen years. Her debut, Wat ik mezelf graag voorhoud (‘What I Like to Impress on Myself’) has won three major Dutch poetry awards. Her first novel Het tegenovergestelde van een mens (The Opposite of a Person, Daunt Books Publishing) was published in 2017 and translated into English and French. The next year, she wrote De volgende scan duurt vijf minuten (The following scan will last five minutes, Liverpool University Press). The book is a collection of poems and an essay, after she was recognized with cancer. The Poetry Book Society published a conversation between Marsman and her translator Sohie Collins, which we were kindly allowed to publish on this website as well: Lieke Marsman and Sophie Collins. Poet and translator in conversation.


The Poet Laureate was established in 2000 as an initiative of Poetry International, NPS and NRC. The position has since been held by Gerrit Komrij, Simon Vinkenoog, Driek van Wissen, Ramsey Nasr, Anne Vegter, Ester Naomi Perquin and Tsead Bruinja. The organization and coordination of the Poet Laureate is now in the hands of the new Poet Laureate Foundation. The Poet Laureate is financially supported by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Stichting Lezen, and collaborates with partners Poetry International, de Schrijverscentrale, the National Library, NRC and Poetry Club.