Academic Forum

Expand your horizons, take time to reflect

Campus Poet: adds color to the campus and makes campus culture visible

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 faculty or department or the interdisciplinary programs organized by Academic Forum.

image Lotte Claassen - campus poet 2017

The current campus poet is Lotte Claassen.


See also: Facebook (link will be updated soon).
Watch a video of Lotte on the Tilburg University Facebook Page.

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


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

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