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Festival Winternachten

Writers Unlimited keeps it cool and moves the 27th edition of Winternachten international literature festival The Hague from January to 16-19 June 2022. We're looking forward to sparkling conversations and intimate encounters with Dutch and international writers, poets, spoken word artists and musical performers from The Netherlands and abroad.

From Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 June 2022, Paard Den Haag will be the central festival location, and there will be special programmes with partners such as Amare and PIP Den Haag. 

View the festival programme here!

Paard as festival hub
Since our regular festival heart Theater aan het Spui is renovating, we have joined forces with Paard to make a sweltering Winternachten edition with Dutch and international authors and artists. Expect a mix of sultry auditoriums, heated conversations, fresh perspectives and ice-cold drinks. 

Being home and feeling at home
The motto of Winternachten festival 2022 is Whose House is This? This opening sentence of the novel Home by Toni Morrison inspires us to make a festival about being home and feeling at home in one's society, city and body. And where every visitor feels at home! We decided to explore 'the house' as a metaphor from different angles: the house of the family, the house of society, of democracy, of literature.

The underlying question of our previous festival edition with the theme It's up to us was how we come together and join forces in an uncertain time. Now, in response to current events, we see that existing power structures are rarely questioned. Yet we want to question the system we live in.

"Whose house is this? Whose night keeps out the light in here? Say, who owns this house? It's not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter with a view of lakes crossed in painted boats; of fields wide as arms open for me. This house is strange. Its shadows lie. Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?"

With the above sentences, the American writer Toni Morrison opened her tenth novel Home. The book appeared in 2012. It tells of a traumatised soldier who returns from Korea to racist America in the 1950s. Morrison, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, explores the experiences of Americans of colour, especially women.

With the theme question Whose House is This? we will also search for stories about a house that is not lived in, but haunted, or stories in which the earth no longer suffices as a home. We bring writers, thinkers and scientists from all over the world together in conversation in The Hague theatres, libraries and schools. Think along with us about current issues, using the power of the literary imagination. Come home to Winternachten.

The team that makes the programmes of the coming Winternachten festival edition consists of six women, united in curiosity and drive. Meltem Halaceli, Gerlinda Heywegen, Fleur Jeras, Joëlle Koorneef, Nisrine Mbarki and Ilonka Reintjens are responsible for the festival content, together with director Ellen Walraven. Their specialisations and backgrounds are very different. Their kinship lies in the desire to share what seduces and amazes them literarily, and the desire to investigate how this relates to the spirit of the age.

Since 1995 Writers Unlimited organises the international literature festival Winternachten in The Hague. In the past years many tens of thousands of visitors have witnessed conversations and readings by writers and poets on topical themes. The festival has grown into one of the most important international literary events in the Netherlands. Under the motto 'Give the floor to the authors', the festival has involved literature in the national and international social debate. The programmes take place at various locations in the city of The Hague, including Paard, Amare, Theater Dakota, PIP, in three libraries in neighbourhoods in The Hague and at schools and universities.

Writers Unlimited brings together writers, poets, thinkers and scientists from all over the world to discuss literature, art, science and society. Annually in January in the Winternachten festival, throughout the year in the Writers Series, monthly programmes at various locations in The Hague, and in our Podcasts. Our activities are made possible by structural subsidies from the Municipality of The Hague and the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and incidentally by various private funds, and cooperation partners such as PEN International, PEN Nederland and the Jan Campert-Stichting.

Thanks for support and cooperation
We're thankful for the support and cooperation we receive from our wonderful colleagues in The Hague, from the participating authors, from our volunteers and from our partners: the City of The Hague, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Dioraphte, Fonds 21 and the Lira Fonds.

see the current edition:

see previous editions: