Academic Forum

Campus Poet

The Campus Poet at Tilburg University reflects about campus life, about study and science, current themes in society, about everyday things and emotions, and life in general. In this way the poet adds color to campus and makes campus culture visible in a very specific manner.

About the Campus Poet

Each year, a student or staff member within Tilburg University is appointed as Campus Poet. In recent years, various Campus Poets have expressed themselves through their poetry about campus life, about study and science, about current themes in society, about everyday things, about emotions and about life in general. In this way the poets add color to campus and make campus culture visible in a very specific manner. The Campus Poet election offers a platform to budding literary talents. An independent artist-to-be can give an appealing account of current events relating to the university, the city, the country and perhaps even the world. All this shows that Tilburg University takes its cultural and social mission seriously.

Public appearances

As the organizer, Academic Forum would like to provide the Campus Poet with a wide stage and with many opportunities to speak. Examples include a number of official events, such as the opening of the academic year and Tilburg University's New Year's reception. However, the Campus Poet is also present at major events occurring in the city, the country or the world. The same goes for meetings hosted by a School or department or the interdisciplinary programs organized by Academic Forum.


The current campus poet is Michiel Bakker.


See also: website or Facebook.

Out-of-office poem

A number of Campus Poets have composed a special ‘Out-of-Office’ poem. The poems are for staff to use if they prefer a more festive alternative to the standard reply they might otherwise have used. If you decide in favor of this playful message in verse, don’t forget to mention the poet’s name.     

The poems:

Occupied - Martijn Faes (Campus poet 2018)
Now part of a different view,
Away from what I used to do,
Because each minute that passes,
Is reflected in my sunglasses.

Leave a message – Lotte Claassen (Campus poet 2017)
Leave a message after the tone
because it's time for me
to go away from home

find me climbing a mountain
or perhaps on the beach
making all kinds of memories
the upcoming weeks

I will reply to you later
for vacation I yearn
right now I'm out of office
but fear not! I'll return :)

Sorry, I am out of office! – Chiara Raucea (Campus poet 2015)
I am away!
If you 'll stop by my office, today,
you'll find only an empty chair
(please, do not fall into despair!!!)
since I'm going to look after the little pieces of myself
en plein air.

In the meanwhile,
You'll find a very kind 'someone else'
who may help you with your request
because -remember what the 2 rules say-
1) no one is essential
2) every one needs a rest!

Walnut takes a break - Andrew Cartwright (Campus poet 2009)
I have left the nutshell in peace
Let the exposed brain absorb outside influences
How on earth I will fit back
Is anybody’s guess
I guess I always do; I know these walls
The way in and the way out