Netherlands literary scene – December

Here’s our rundown of upcoming international literary events in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht for December 2019 and beyond. Events are in English unless otherwise noted. Most ask that you register; some require tickets. If you’d like to receive our listing of local literary events by email, sign up for our Monthly Update.


  • Mongrel Tongue reading and launch party – a reading by 12 poets from around the world including Megin Jiménez, our teacher in The Hague, followed by a launch party for Megin’s prose poetry collection on Sunday, 1 December at Sexyland, Amsterdam
  • OpenMicMonday – poetry, music and stories in Dutch, English and French (new performers welcome) on Monday, 2 December, 20:45 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • The GRID: One Night Stand – an open arts event with poetry and a chance to support local artists on Thursday, 6 December, 19:00 at the Vondelbunker, Amsterdam
  • ABC Open Mic – your chance to go public with your book, song or poem on Friday, 6 December, 18:00 at the American Book Center, Amsterdam
  • KNOCK KNOCK – #40 – an evening of spoken word, poetry, music and soul food on Friday, 6 December, 19:15 at Volta, Amsterdam
  • We The People… x Nnuaba – an evening taking you from music and poetry to paintings to animation to stick n poke (includes an open mic segment) on Saturday, 7 December, 19:00 at LOLA BAE, Amsterdam
  • Samany Sedney Book Release Party – songs and spoken word with a live band on Sunday, 8 December, 18:30 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • OpenMicMonday – poetry, music and stories in Dutch, English and French (new performers welcome) on Monday, 9 December, 20:45 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • Une Saison Française : Rencontre avec Julia Deck – a discussion of the state of French literature with novelist Julia Deck on Tuesday, 10 December, 20:00 at Athenaeum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum, Amsterdam. Note: this programme will be in French.
  • The Last Int’l Open Stage of 2019 – an open mic night with poetry, stories, songs and more in whatever language you want on Tuesday, 10 December, 20:30 at ACU, Utrecht
  • Rape enters the scene – editors Marwin Vos and Nguyễn Thị Mai and Perdu launch a collaborative issue of nY-magazine on sexual violence with guest performances by British-Indian writer Bhanu Kapil and Mexican poet Dolores Dorantes on Friday, 13 December, 20:00 at Perdu, Amsterdam
  • Word Up the Wall launch night – the winning poets of Word Up the Wall project will strut their stuff on Sunday, 15 December, 16:00 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam. Note: some of this programme may be in Dutch.
  • Dickens Festival – this annual Christmas market brings over 950 Dickens characters to life on Saturday and Sunday, 15 – 16 December, 11.00-17.00 at the Bergkwartier, Deventer
  • Jazz & Poetry Sunday – a special edition of Jazz & Poetry in collaboration with the jazz/spokenword trio Vignette on Sunday, 15 December, 19:00 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • VERSO live journal – edited by Versal’s Anna Arov and featuring works by activist and poet Etaïnn Zwer, poet Jasper Albinus, and artist Annika Kappner on Sunday, 15 December, 19:00 at Mezrab, Amsterdam
  • Readings at Christmas – a traditional evening of Christmas poetry and prose with Tim Butler on Monday, 16 December, 19:30 at Waterstones, Amsterdam
  • OpenMicMonday – poetry, music and stories in Dutch, English and French (new performers welcome) on Monday, 16 December, 20:45 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • Chinese Poetry Translation: Rights and Wrongs – this event stretches from queer-feminist engagement with China’s newest poetry to philological reflection on its oldest, and from classical Chinese poetry in Western languages to Baudelaire and Celan in Chinese on Tuesday, 17 December, 17:00 at SPUI25, Amsterdam
  • The Tongue Tastes Nothing But Tah Tah – a performance centred around linguistics, the voice and rhythms with poetry and stories on Friday, 20 December, 14:00 at W139, Amsterdam
  • Two Tales One Song – a spoken word musical performance with poetry and lyrics by Frank Sheppard and music by Floris Nielen, Sunday, 22 December, 19:00 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • Labyrinth Poetry Night – a beautiful night of spoken word, music, and storytelling on Saturday, 28 December, 20:30 at Labyrinth Amsterdam. Note: some of this programme may be in Dutch.


  • Word Up – spoken word poetry for social inclusion and diversity promotion on Thursday, 9 January at Checkpoint Charlie, Amsterdam
  • Winternachten Literature Festival – readings, prose, poetry, storytelling, spoken word, author interviews, topical discussions, films and music, featuring over 100 writers, poets and spoken word artists from around the world, 15 – 19 January at various locations in The Hague. Note: Some of this programme will be in Dutch.
5 December 2019

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