Interview with Renske Brandhoff

Could you tell us about your role in the 42nd Poetry International Festival? What are the biggest challenges you will face before or during the festival? What are your favourite tasks, and your least favourite?

During my internship at Poetry International, I have helped organise educational projects, of which the biggest is a translation project called ‘Met andere woorden’ (In other words). For this project, people were able to sign up to translate poems by the festival poets at home or in school. During the festival, they will be able to meet the poet whose poems they translated. Since so many poets are coming to Rotterdam, this is quite a challenge to coordinate. Furthermore, I will be coordinating the different festival programmes that will take place in the foyer and in the garden of Café Floor, making sure there everyone turns up at the right place at the right time and that there are enough chairs to sit on and so on. It is definitely going to be a busy week, with so many different programmes in the foyer. It’s my very first festival, so I’m not quite sure yet how it will all work out but I’m really looking forward to it!

© Renske Brandhoff

Which events, workshops or sessions are you are most looking forward to?

The influence of the internet on our daily lives is still growing, and that is both making our world smaller and bigger at the same time. I’m looking forward to the ‘This is me’ event about how the digital world influences poets and their work and how they work with the internet themselves. That’s definitely going to be interesting. Also, many events are related to the city of Rotterdam, which I think is wonderful, and I would like to see some of those events as well.

What does this year’s theme Chaos and Order mean to you in terms of poetry, the festival and your work?

That’s a hard question. I grew up in a small place, so for me, working in Rotterdam automatically implies some sort of chaos, especially at the Poetry International office . . . The different festival events have made me realise that poetry embodies and examines many kinds of chaos or order. I really appreciate the fact that poetry can make you aware of these kinds of things and perhaps make you look at the world in a slightly different way.

Which poet or poets are you most looking forward to see at the festival?

Truong Tran, Øyvind Rimbereid, Daljit Nagra and Robert Hass.

Renske Brandhoff is a production intern at Poetry International.

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