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Campus poet 2017: Lotte Claassen

Tilburg University has a new campus poet and her name is Lotte Claassen. On Dutch National Poetry Day, January 26, 2017, she was chosen out of six candidates by jury and audience to Campus Poet 2017. She succeeds Jan Völkel, who had tried in this past year to make people enthusiastic to write poetry or at least to read poems of others.

campus poet lotte claassen

At the beginning of the Campus Poet Election 2017 a few brief comparisons were made with the inauguration of Trump. As a joke, of course, because in both cases there is an election and transition. With Trump no place for doubt or self-reflection of course, just a cast in concrete starting point 'Fake it 'till you make it'. Very different from Lotte Claassen, who wrote the appropriate poem Imposter syndrome, in which she gave the audience an inside look into her thoughts and feelings, doubts and insecurities. But with a good share of self-reflection and self-knowledge.

In addition to the election as Campus Poet 2017, Lotte will be awarded with a subsidy of 500 euro for her efforts throughout the year 2017.



More info: see Facebook.

See the video of Lotte Claassen on Tilburg University Facebook.


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