Netherlands literary scene – October

Here’s our rundown of upcoming international literary events in The Netherlands for October 2018 and beyond. Events are in English unless otherwise noted. Most ask that you register; some require tickets.

  • Alice Zeniter – the award-winning French novelist, will be speaking on Monday, 8 October, 17:00 at Spui 25, Amsterdam. Note: this event will be conducted in French.
  • Open Mic Monday– poetry, music and stories in Dutch, English, French and Spanish, new performers welcome, 8 October, 20:30, Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • An Intimate Approach: We Have Come to Stir the Other World Here – award-winning South African poet Koleka Putuma will be speaking (with others) on the subject of navigating the world in an “othered body” (black, female, queer) on 9 October, 20:00 at Perdu, Amsterdam
  • Int’l open stage – an open mic night with poetry, stories, songs and more in whatever language you want on the theme of ‘the elements’ on Tuesday, 9 October, 21:00 at ACU, Utrecht
  • Bijlmer Boekt! featuring award-winning South African poet Koleka Putuma & Turkish writer Sema Kaygusuz- includes readings, standup, music and more on Wednesday, 10 October, 19:30. Note: Some of this event will be in Dutch
  • Level I Creative Writing Workshop, Thursday evenings – 8 weeks of inspiration and learning from 11 October – 6 December, with a hiatus 25 October, 18:30 – 20:30 at Boekhandel van Rossum, Amsterdam
  • Read My World Festival – the theme this year is Turkey and 8 Turkish writers will be featured during the 3-day festival 11-13 October at the Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam
  • Culturele Zondag: Literatuur – a whole afternoon of literary fun, including readings by our friends at Versal and an open mic hosted by the American Book Center, from 13:00 – 18:00 on Sunday, 14 October, at De Hallen, Amsterdam. Note: some of this event will be in Dutch.
  • Taiye Selasi: On the Future of Black Identity – the British author of the acclaimed novel Ghana Must Go will be speaking on Tuesday, 16 October, 20:00 at de Balie, Amsterdam
  • Wine and Words – enjoy 4 wine and literature pairings on Wednesday, 17 October, 20:00 at Cafe Blossom, The Hague
  • The Worlds and Works of Ursula K. Le Guin – a panel of writers will discuss Le Guin’s work on Friday, 19 October, 20:00 at Perdu, Amsterdam. Note: Part of this event will be in Dutch.
  • Poetry Reading: Bill Porter, Clemens Starck and Finn Wilcox – these 3 distinguished American poets will be reading Sunday, 21 October, 15:00-16:00 at the American Book Center, Amsterdam
  • Int’l open stage – an open mic night with poetry, stories, songs and more in whatever language you want on the theme of death on Tuesday, 23 October, 21:00 at ACU, Utrecht
  • Book Launch Sarah Meuleman: Find Me Gone – a reading and interview with this Belgian writer whose debut thriller has been garnering rave reviews on Friday, 26 October, 17:30 at the American Book Center, Amsterdam
  • We The People… Poetry Night: Black Resistance – an evening of poetry, spoken word and music concluding with an open mic on Saturday, 27 October, 20:30 at Labyrinth, Amsterdam
  • Crossing Border Festival – featuring over 100 authors, musicians and artists from all over the world (headliners include Michael Palin, Richard Powers and Patrick de Witt), from Monday, 29 October – 4 November at various locations in The Hague
  • Int’l open stage – a special open stage on the theme of stories on Tuesday, 23 October, 21:00 at ACU, Utrecht. Note: portions of this event will be in Dutch


  • Richard Powers – the American National Book Award-winner will be speaking about his newest novel The Overstory, which was short-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, on Sunday, 4 November, 15:00 – 17:00 at the West Indische Huis, Amsterdam
  • Writers’ Borrel – meet up for a drink after listening to Richard Powers on Sunday, 4 November, 17:00 at Stuyvesant wine bar, Amsterdam
  •  Brecht Evens – the Belgian cartoonist will present his newest graphic novel ‘Het Amusement’ on 8 November, at Boycott Books, Amsterdam. Note: this event is in English
  • Margaret Atwood  the Canadian author of The Handmaid’s Tale will be speaking courtesy of The Nexus Institute on Saturday, 10 November at the Aula-Old Luthern Church, Amsterdam.
  • The Green Hour – Oscar Wilde – an evening of all things Oscar—prose, poetry, drama and drinks—on Saturday, 24 November, 20:30 at the Pianola Museum, Amsterdam. Note: this event keeps selling out so get your tickets early!
  • Memoir Writing Course – a 1-day crash course covering everything from finding the right narrative voice to publishing on Sunday, 25 November, 10:00-17:00 at Boekhandel van Rossum, Amsterdam


  • Marilynne Robinson – the Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist will be giving the opening lecture of the 2018 Nexus Conference (the conference theme is the battle between good and evil) on Saturday, 15 December at the National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam
  • Wole Soyinka – the Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright and essayist will be one of the speakers at the 2018 Nexus Conference on Saturday, 15 December at the National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam

If you’d like to receive our listing of local literary events by email, sign up for our Monthly Update.

1 November 2018

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