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Mirjam van Hengel

Mirjam van Hengel - foto Keke Keukelaar
Mirjam van Hengel - foto Keke Keukelaar

(The Netherlands, 1967) is a writer and producer. In 2014 her book about the wartime love affair of Leo and Tineke Vroman was published, which was reworked into a play by director Leon van der Sanden. In 2018 her biography of Remco Campert was published: "The story of his life runs from the postwar avant-garde through to partying youngsters around [Amsterdam's] Vondelpark, from increasing public visibility to the silence of a study. There was the absent father, and great loves came and went, but writing always remained, close to his own skin." In her biography Dola (2022), she portrays Dutch writer and dancer Dola de Jong, who fled from Hitler and ended up in New York via Tangier. Van Hengel studied Dutch at the University of Utrecht and has been an acquiring editor at the Van Oorschot and Querido publishing houses for years. Before that, she worked as a literary journalist and editor for various Dutch publications.

(WU2024)

Archive available for: Mirjam van Hengel

  • Writers Unlimited 2024

    Ode to Remco Campert & The Hague Literary Prizes Ceremony

    With: Aad Meinderts, Alma Mathijsen, Anjet Daanje, Benjamin Herman, Blue Moon, Corrie van Binsbergen, Ellen ten Damme, Jan Kuijper, Judith Uyterlinde, Kees 't Hart, Kees van Kooten, Lucky Fonz III, Maartje Meijer, Marjoleine de Vos, Mirjam van Hengel, Ramsey Nasr, Ronelda S. Kamfer, Rozalie Hirs, Saskia Bruines, Tjibbe Veldkamp, Tomas Lieske

    To grandly celebrate the life and work of Remco Campert, an ode to him took place on the final day of the 2024 Writers Unlimited International Literature Festival The Hague, preceding the award ceremony of The Hague Literature Prizes. The event was organized by Writers Unlimited and the Literatuurmuseum, in collaboration with the Jan Campert Foundation, de Volkskrant and De Bezige Bij.

    Ode to Remco Campert
    Campert was honoured with appearances by prominent writers and artists such as Ellen ten Damme, Kees van Kooten, Ramsey Nasr, Alma Mathijsen, Mirjam van Hengel, South African poet Ronelda S. Kamfer, guitarist Corrie van Binsbergen and the Benjamin Herman Quartet formed by Benjamin Herman (saxophone), Thomas Poll (double bass), Timothy Banchet (piano) and Jimmi Hueting (drums). All let themselves be inspired by the person and work of Campert for their musical or verbal contributions.

    Remco Campert (1929-2022) was born in The Hague. He was a much-loved poet, novelist and columnist. His poetry won awards such as the Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize, the Poetry Prize of the City of Amsterdam, the Jan Campert Prize, the P.C. Hooft Price and the Gouden Ganzenveer. In 2015 he was honoured with the Dutch Literature Prize.

    Besides poetry, Campert wrote several novels, stories and novellas from the 1960s on, such as 2004's Een liefde in Parijs (A Love in Paris), which became revered classics. From 1989 until 1995, together with Jan Mulder and Bart Chabot, he read from his own work in theatres. From 1996 to 2006, together with Mulder, he wrote the joint column CaMu that appeared on the front page of the Volkskrant daily newspaper. His last works were 2019's Aanelkaar (To Each Other), an exchange of letters with Kees van Kooten, and the poetry collection Mijn dood en ik (My death and I, 2019), in which he lucidly looks death in the eye.

    The Hague Literature Prizes Award Ceremony
    The festival ended with The Hague Literature Prizes, which are awarded annually by the Jan Campert Foundation. The laureats - Anjet Daanje, Tomas Lieske, Rozalie Hirs en Tjibbe Veldkamp - received their prizes from Saskia Bruines, alderwoman of Finance, Culture and Economy of The Hague.

    Anjet Daanje received the Constantijn Huygens Prize, The Hague's most important award for a body of work. Tomas Lieske was awarded the F. Bordewijk Prize for his novel Niets dat hier hemelt. Rozalie Hirs received the Jan Campert Prize for her collection of poetry ecologica. The biennial Nienke van Hichtum Prize for children's books went to Tjibbe Veldkamp for his De jongen die van de wereld hield.

    Each laureate was honoured with a laudatio by a special guest! Thus, writer Kees 't Hart and pianist, singer and composer Maartje Meijer performed for Anjet Daanje. Rozalie Hirs and Tomas Lieske were praised by poet Jan Kuijper and writer Marjoleine de Vos respectively. Singer-songwriter Lucky Fonz III performed for Tjibbe Veldkamp.

    Judith Uyterlinde, director of Writers Unlimited, and Aad Meinderts, chair of the Jan Campert Foundation, delivered welcoming words.

    Bookstore De Vries van Stockum was present in the foyer with a stand where books by the authors participating in this event and others were available!

    Ode to Remco Campert & The Hague Literary Prizes Ceremony was curated by Jet Steinz on behalf of the Jan Campert Foundation and Writers Unlimited. Mirjam van Hengel hosted the event.

  • Writers Unlimited 2024

    De Volkskrant Leesclub Live on Remco Campert's oeuvre

    With: Bert Wagendorp, Frank van Bommel, Frans van Deursen, Frederique van Rijn, Jan Mulder, Mark Nieuwenhuis, Mirjam van Hengel, Wilma de Rek

    De Volkskrant Leesclub Live focused on the diverse oevre of Remco Campert, especially his novel Het satijnen hart (The Satin Heart), and allowed the audience to get their questions answered by an amazing writers' panel of expert enthusiasts: Jan Mulder, Bert Wagendorp and Mirjam van Hengel.

    If you read Dutch, you could order Camperts' novel Het satijnen hart via the Leesclub (a special edition for this occasion published by De Bezige Bij) and get a discount on your ticket!

    Mulder talked about Camperts' columns, Wagendorp about his stories, and Van Hengel about his poetry. Wilma de Rek, books editor at De Volkskrant newspaper, participated as moderator.

    For a musical-poetic intermezzo, Frederique van Rijn and actor/singer Frans van Deursen performed an excerpt from the Campert's show Poëzie is mijn adem (Poetry is my Breath) featuring his own poems, accompanied by Mark Nieuwenhuis (compositions, trumpet, samples, beats) and Frank van Bommel (compositions, piano, various percussion).

    Born in The Hague, Remco Campert (1929-2022) was one of The Netherlands' most loved and multifaceted writers. Besides poetry, he wrote several novels and novellas, several of which have become contemporary classics. From 1989 until 1995, together with Jan Mulder and Bart Chabot, he read from his own work in theatres. From 1996 to 2006, together with Mulder, he wrote the joint column CaMu that appeared on the front page of the Volkskrant daily newspaper. His bestselling novel Een liefde in Parijs (A Love in Paris) came out in 2004, followed by 2006's Het satijnen hart (The Satin Heart), a wistful portrait of a painter who can't choose between love and art all the way into old age. His last works were 2019's Aanelkaar (To Each Other), an exchange of letters with Kees van Kooten, and the poetry collection Mijn dood en ik (My death and I, 2019), in which he lucidly looks death in the eye.

    Festival tip: Ode to Remco Campert & Award Ceremony Hague Literature Prizes (Koninklijke Schouwburg, Sunday afternoon, 21 January 2024) with appearaces by Kees van Kooten, Ramsey Nasr, Alma Mathijsen, Ronelda Kamfer, Ellen ten Damme, Benjamin Herman and Corrie van Binsbergen, followed by the ceremony of the Hague Literature Prizes to be awarded to Anjet Daanje, Tomas Lieske, Rozalie Hirs and Tjibbe Veldkamp.