Kopje Koffie podcast

German book podcast

Literary organisations, International festivals, Publishers

The Dutch Embassy in Berlin and the Dutch Foundation for Literature produce in cooperation with Flanders Literature and the General Representation of the Government of Flanders the Kopje Koffie (‘Cup of Coffee’) podcast, aimed at German readers and listeners. Dutch writers with a new translation in German are invited to talk about their work.

In 2024, the Netherlands and Flanders will jointly be Guest of Hounour at the Leipziger Buchmesse, the largest public book fair in Germany. In the run-up to this major event a series of programmes at German festivals, houses of literature and other venues will be organised to draw attention to Dutch-language translated literature in Germany. The podcast ‘Kopje Koffie’ aims towards the same goal.

24: Ernest van der Kwast

Ernest van der Kwast’s 2020 novel Ilyas, published in Germany as Der perfekte Mann (btb), translated by Rainer Kersten, tells the story of art historian Peter Lindke, who suddenly loses his job as Rembrandt-expert at the renowned Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. In this podcast, Ernest van der Kwast explains how he came up with the idea for his novel and how his own living environment in Rotterdam inspired him to write this story full of tragic and comic moments.

23: Amarylis De Gryse

In September, Flemish writer Amarylis De Gryse presented her debut novel Varkensribben (Prometheus, 2020) at the Literaturhaus Leipzig, now translated into German as Der berühmte Tiefpunkt (Arche, translation by Ruth Löbner). In her podcast conversation with Bettina Baltschev, the author, a trained organic farmer and social worker, describes how she came up with the idea to write this novel.

22: Jaap Robben

Just a month ago, Jaap Robben was a guest at the Literaturhaus Leipzig to present his new novel A Twilight Life (De Geus, 2022). The novel was recently published in German translation as Kontur eines Lebens (DuMont, translation: Birgit Erdmann). A good reason to sit down with presenter Bettina Baltschev for a new episode of Cup of Coffee!

21: Nina Polak

Over a cup of coffee in Cologne, Katharina Borchardt talks to Nina Polak about her novel Gebrek is een groot woord (Prometheus, 2018). The novel was recently published in German translation as Zuhause ist ein großes Wort (Mare, 2023), translated by Stefanie Ochel. In the novel, the main character Skip sails across the seven seas in seven years. When she returns to Amsterdam she feels estranged from her family and is faced with the question: move on or stay?

20: Anneleen Van Offel

The Flemish writer Anneleen Van Offel met Bettina Baltschev at the book fair in Leipzig for the 20th podcast episode. Her novel Hier is alles veilig (2020, Lebowski Publishers) tells the story of Lydia and her stepson Immanuel. After a distress call that Lydia ignored for too long, she travels from Belgium to Israel only to discover she is too late. In 2023 Here is everything safe appeared in German translation as Hier ist alles sicher (Oktaven), translated by Christiane Burkhardt.

19: Toine Heijmans

Author and climbing enthusiast Heijmans talks with Katharina Borchardt about the German translation of his novel ‘Zuurstofschuld’ (Uitgeverij Pluim, 2021) translated by Ruth Löbner to ‘Der unendliche Gipfel’ (Mairisch Verlag, 2023).

18: Peter Terrin

The Flemish author Peter Terrin was a guest at the Leipziger Buchmesse in April 2023 and met Katharina Borchardt to talk about his novel Al het Blauw (De Bezige Bij), translated by Rainer Kersten as Alles Blau der Welt (Liebeskind). The book describes the forbidden love affair between 41-year-old married Carla and 19-year-old Simon, who meet in an Italian poolside cafe. Terrin reveals that he is currently writing the sequel to All the Blue, set 30 years later.

17: Mathijs Deen

At the request of his German publisher, Mare, Mathijs Deen – known for his books on the Wadden Sea and the Rhine – wrote his successful thriller The Dutchman. Now there is a second book about Dutch-German border region detective, Inspector Liewe Cupido. Like The Dutchman, The Diver, translated into German by Andreas Ecke is largely set at sea, with divers who loot shipwrecks playing a major role. In this podcast, Deen speaks with Katharina Borchardt about the research and background to his book and his passion for the sea.

16: Lisa Weeda

The episode with Lisa Weeda about her debut novel Aleksandra (Kanon, translated into German by Birgit Erdmann) was recorded on the 10th floor of the Dutch Embassy with a view over Berlin. The author’s 94-year-old Ukrainian grandmother gave the book its title. The book was published in the Netherlands in 2021, a year before the Ukraine war broke out, and won major awards there.

15: Simone Atangana Bekono

Bettina Baltschev talks to Simone Atangana Bekono about her 2020 debut novel Confrontaties, which was published in German in 2023 as Salomés Zorn by publisher C.H.Beck, translated by Ira Wilhelm. Simone Atangana Bekono talks about the research she did and the young people she interviewed to develop her story.

14: Marcel Möring

After traveling to The Hague, our moderator Bettina Baltschev met with Marcel Möring to discuss his new book Eden (btb). This is already the second release in Germany in 2022 after his novel Amen (Luchterhand). Marcel Möring, one of the most well-known and respected writers in the Netherlands, has worked on this book for seven years. We once again encounter the Jewish doctor Mendel Adenauer, who has been one of his main characters since Möring’s first novel in 1990. The narrator this time is Niekas, who seems to be immortal. He moves through time and space, describing his apprenticeship years, encounters with people, and the search for the book Raziel, which is said to contain the fate of all humanity. Finally, Niekas and Mendel meet in the present, changing the life of the latter in a significant way.

13: Cees Nooteboom

Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom celebrated his 89th birthday at the end of July. Katharina Borchardt visited the author in Amsterdam to talk to him about his life’s work. The occasion is the publication of Volume 11 of his collected works (Suhrkamp), which includes prose and poems from 2016 to 2021. This makes Cees Nooteboom the only foreign author to be honored by German publisher Suhrkamp Verlag with a consecutive edition of his works.

12: David Van Reybrouck

Katharina Borchardt met David Van Reybrouck at the embassy of Flanders in Berlin over a cup of herbal tea, because coffee is a hard drug for him, according to the author. He only drinks one cup of it a year, and he’ll feel the effects for three days! Nevertheless, he answered questions about his new book “Revolusi” (Suhrkamp), which deals with the Dutch colonial era and Indonesia’s struggle for liberation. The country wrote world history in 1945 by taking the lead in decolonization, which soon spread to Africa and changed the political map forever.

11: Jessica Durlacher

Starring in the ninth episode of Kopje Koffie, the German book podcast about Dutch literature: Dutch writer Jessica Durlacher talks in the Literary Society in Bielefeld with Katharina Borchardt about her book De stem (The Voice), published by De Arbeiderspers in 2021. In May of 2022, the book was published in German by Diogenes Verlag, under the title Die Stimme, translated by Annelie Bogener.

10: Lize Spit

At their Kopje Koffie meetup in Brussels, Lize Spit served up a cappuccino and admitted she happily downs four a day. “Sometimes I need it too, because such a strong coffee can also give you a bit of courage to continue working.” In her conversation with Bettina Baltschev, she talks about working on her second novel Ik ben er niet (I’m not there), recently translated into German by Helga van Beuningen for S. Fischer as Ich bin nicht da.

9: Stefan Hertmans

Katharina Borchardt visited Stefan Hertmans in Ghent (Flanders/Belgium) for a long talk on writing habits and coffeerituals, reflections on a his authorship, and most of all, his novel De opgang, which has recently been translated into German by Ira Wilhelm for Diogenes Verlag as Der Aufgang.

8: Gerbrand Bakker

Katharina Borchardt met Gerbrand Bakker over a cup of coffee to talk about his new autobiographical book Knecht, allein (translation of Knecht, alleen (Servant, Alone) by Andreas Ecke for Suhrkamp).

7: Gerda Blees

Poet and writer Gerda Blees talks about her first novel Wir sind das Licht (translation of Wij zijn licht (We are light) by Lisa Mensing for Paul Zsolnay).

6: Tobi Lakmaker

Tobi Lakmaker talks about De geschiedenis van mijn seksualiteit, published by Piper as Die Geschichte meiner Sexualität, translated by Christina Brunnenkamp.

5: Marente de Moor

Marente de Moor was interviewed by Bettina Baltschev on her novel Phon. The German translation by Bettina Bach was published by Hanser.

4: Herman Koch

Herman Koch talks about his novel Finse Dagen (‘Finnish Days’) that was published by KiWi, translated by Christiane Kuby and Herbert Post.

3: Charlotte Van den Broeck

Katharina Borchardt interviews Charlotte Van den Broeck.

2: Judith Fanto

Judith Fanto stars in the second episode. With Bettina Baltschev she discusses her debut novel Viktor (published by Urachhaus, translated by Eva Schweikart).

1: Arnon Grunberg

The first episode features Arnon Grunberg on Besetzte Gebiete (KiWi), the German translation of Bezette gebieden.

German website

Jan Steinz


Jan Steinz

Programme officer

[email protected]