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Nicole Kaandorp wins NK Poetry Slam 2023


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Nicole Kaandorp has become Dutch Poetry Slam Champion 2023. After preliminary rounds across the country, eight poetry slammers competed in the 21st edition of the NK Poetry Slam on Saturday night 23 September, during the International Literature Festival Utrecht. Nicole took on Eelco Couvreur in the final battle and captured the national title. The new national slam champion received the Gouden Vink challenge trophy, named after Simon Vinkenoog, and a cheque for a thousand euros.

During the grand final of the NK Poetry Slam in TivoliVredenburg, eight word artists from the Netherlands and Flanders competed against each other: Kylie Lyandra, Yanaika Zomer, SorayaSpeaking, Sven Vek, Eelco Couvreur, Hava Güveli, Nicole Kaandorp and Sander Ausems. They secured a place in the final by winning the semi-final of the NK Poetry Slam on 13 September. After tonight, Nicole Kaandorp can call herself Dutch Poetry Slam Champion 2023, takes home the Gouden Vink challenge trophy and wins €1000. Second place was for Eelco Couvreur, who went home with a €250 prize.

The audience determines

The poets not only had to convince the judges but also win over the audience. The audience cast their votes by applauding and cheering as loudly as possible for their favourite poetry slammer. This year, the jury consisted of Eva van Manen, Iduna Paalman and Seckou Ouologuem. The presentation was in the hands of Benzokarim and Sophia Blyden.

The jury on Nicole Kaandorp

After a first round, in which all slammers showed their skills individually, and a second round with five more contestants, Nicole and Eelco remained in the final. The judges on Nicole and the final battle: Iduna Paalman: "This was a lovely marriage, where the partners are very much alike. They are not going to battle they say, but still corner each other very lovingly. Nicole just a little more vicious, a little more lilting, just like a, yes... winner!"  Eva van Manen: "Your softness threw you like a blanket over the fire that Eelco threw in the second round and with such overpowering softness you did so 'shhhhh'".
After the judges' recommendation, Nicole received the most votes from the audience, via the applause meter.

Nicole Kaandorp (Budapest, 1997) writes short stories, essays and stage poetry. She makes music in the band Kopje Onder, presents and organises literary programmes in Utrecht and her hometown Amsterdam, and is part of the editorial team of Mensen Zeggen Dingen. In 2019, she won the Lowlands Writing Competition with the short story Linnen, about a couple pretending not to know each other, with all its consequences. Relationships and how to communicate about them recur more often in her work, as do bullet points and clear details. She won the preliminary round of Poetry Slam Vrijburcht.

21st Edition

The NK Poetry Slam had its twenty-first edition this year. In this verbal boxing match, up-and-coming poets compete for who has the best imagery, the most beautiful metaphors and the most exquisite recitation. It is as much about content as performance. But the most important thing for the poetry slammers is to get the audience excited. Poets and writers Maxime Garcia Diaz, Lemuel de Graav, Ellen Deckwitz, Daan Doesborgh and Carmien Michels previously proved their talent at the NK Poetry Slam. The final is traditionally part of the ILFU (International Literature Festival Utrecht), which takes place in Utrecht from 23 September to 7 October.

ILFU - International Literature Festival Utrecht

ILFU is the largest literature festival in the Netherlands as well as a daily online platform for literature. Recurring festival elements are the Book Talks with international and national authors, Exploring Stories: writers on urgent contemporary themes, Young Adult Literature Festival Utrecht (YALFU) and programmes for new talent such as the NK Poetry Slam. The Night of Poetry annually forms the festive conclusion of the festival.

See the entire programme at

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