The Netherlands and Flanders will be joint guest countries at the Leipzig Book Fair in 2024. The starting shot was fired in March with a reading programme in Leipzig. The book podcast “Kopje Koffie” regularly presents new publications by Dutch and Flemish authors. With Margot Dijkgraaf and Bettina Baltschev, two curators have now joined the team who will be responsible for the programme concept of the broad-based campaign to present Dutch-language literature in Germany.
Image above: Kopje koffie. Der niederländisch-flämische Bücherpodcast Illustration: Anne Stalinski
Margot Dijkgraaf was born in 1960 in Amsterdam, where she also lives today. As a literary critic, author, curator and presenter, she is closely associated with many Dutch and European cultural institutions and was, among other things, the founding director of the academic-cultural centre SPUI25 in Amsterdam. Margot Dijkgraaf travels extensively and writes about literature and art for the major Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad. She appears regularly on radio and television and advises festivals, boards and juries in the Netherlands and beyond. Most recently she was curator of the literary campaign Les Phares du Nord in France. Margot Dijkgraaf is considered the literary ambassador between France and the Netherlands. She is also the author of several books on Dutch writers – including Cees Nooteboom and Hella S. Haasse – as well as on European and French literature. In 2021, Margot Dijkgraaf was awarded the prestigious literary prize De Gouden Ganzenveer – the golden goose feather – for her commitment.
Bettina Baltschev was born in Berlin in 1973. She studied in Leipzig and Groningen and now lives in Leipzig and Amsterdam. The cultural scientist, author and journalist has worked for the International Literature Festival Berlin and the Kurt Wolff Foundation, among others. Today she is the managing director of the Saxon Literature Council and works as a literary critic for ARD radio and Deutschlandfunk. She regularly moderates readings and panel discussions and is one of the presenters of Kopje Koffie. The Dutch-Flemish book podcast. Her book Hell and Paradise. Amsterdam, Querido and German Exile Literature tells the story of one of the most important German exile publishers, which published over one hundred titles between 1933 and 1940. The book Am Rande der Glückseligkeit. Über den Strand (On the Beach), a cultural history of the beach that Bettina Baltschev has Bettina Baltschev begin and also end in the Netherlands, was awarded the Johann Gottfried Seume Prize for Literature in 2021 and was nominated for the German Non-Fiction Prize.