Academic Forum

Expand your horizons, take time to reflect

Lotte Claassen (campusdichter 2017)

Op Nationale Gedichtendag, 26 januari 2017, werd Lotte Claassen door jury en publiek verkozen tot Campusdichter 2017 uit zes kandidaten die in twee rondes een zelf geschreven gedicht mochten voordragen. Ze neemt daarmee het stokje over van Jan Völkel die zich het afgelopen jaar heeft ingezet mensen warm te maken voor poëzie, zelf te gaan schrijven of op zijn minst gedichten van anderen te gaan lezen.

campusdichter Lotte Claasssen

Aan het begin van de Campus Poet Election 2017 werden een paar korte vergelijkingen gemaakt met de inauguratie van Trump. Bij wijze van grap natuurlijk, omdat er in beide gevallen sprake is van een verkiezing en een overgangssituatie. Bij Trump geen plek voor twijfel of zelfreflectie, alleen maar een in beton gegoten Fake it ‘till you make it. Heel anders bij Lotte Claassen die onder andere met het toepasselijke gedicht Imposter syndrome de toehoorders een binnenkijkje gaf in haar gedachten- en gevoelswereld, haar twijfels en onzekerheden. Maar dan met een behoorlijke dosis zelfreflectie en zelfkennis.

Naar aanleiding van de verkiezing als Campus Poet 2017 ontvangt Lotte een stipendium van 500 euro voor haar inspanningen gedurende het jaar 2017.


Impostor syndrome >>

Impostor syndrome

There's nothing I'm better at than self-doubt

but I feel like I'd be a natural at drowning to death

My brain knows perfectly how to simulate the feeling, even right now

others are smoothly sailing and I am just a mess


Campus is a set for the Truman show

and everyone else is on the joke

I make references to literature I didn't understand

this facade won't take you long to uncloak


I'll hand in all my essays

mimic what actually smart people say

Tomorrow you might be onto me

but I'll fake cleverness today

Other People’s Feelings >>

Other People’s Feelings


I could sit in Mensa and eavesdrop on people all day

maybe don't try being friends with your ex right away


he said he wasn’t sure where to go from here

as they kept moving backwards, trying to

play the parts they’d always known

together, they were frozen

in the roles they’d since outgrown

they slept on a mattress meant for one

wore shoes a size too small

their way of making up was by ignoring

they ever had a fight at all


they’d just get take-out at their old place

he’d have noodles and she’d get white rice

because sticking to a pattern

could never hurt them, right

with silence like a ghost between them

she’d look at him with distaste

at that point she was unaware  

how hard he would be to erase 


when they broke up, they did it mutually

it was no more than a rational choice

she wouldn't cry, she told her friends

instead she would rejoice

though she looked through his Facebook for photos

taken at new years

and sat there in his t-shirt

clutching those final souvenirs


but hey, she’s in between things now

and she could meet for coffee

she’ll move some things around

and meet him there at half three

‘being friends like this is good for us’                                     

she reminds herself again

she just needs to get through today  
keep breathing if she can

Two haikus >>

Two haikus

Next up, two haikus about being distracted by small things, mostly memories

(truthfully, the 5-7-5 set up only works if you assume 0 is read like 'oh', rather than 'zero')


haunting a campus is no fun:


hear it in the soft

hum of the airco vents in

g z 1 0 1


I remember most

clearly from that lecture the

whispers of a ghost