Adriaan Lakerveld

      latest update 8th January, 2004 (click for Dutch version)

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Adriaan was born on 13th May 1976 on the spot where he was to die 23 years later of a brain tumour, on 14th November 1999.

Adriaan Lakerveld (© Jeroen Lakerveld, 1995)

While his favourite book at school was Michael Ende's Neverending Story, he is also struck by the poetry classes. This results in the poem 'Stilte' (Silence) in 1991.

His first breakthrough was his secondary school final report in 1994. It contained both stories and poems. Performing these, he manages to captivate his audience. And so he read wherever he could, from local radio to the stage at Poetry International Rotterdam.

Although on the one hand he wanted to have enough time to write a Book, he also wanted the benefit of a writer's group, so he enrolled in a creative writing course at the Hogeschool Noord-Holland. This is where he meets Suzanne in 1995. Living in digs, this is a highly productive time for him.

What starts with a pain in one leg in 1996, takes him to neurosurgery, where two years later they remove a tumour from his frontal lobes. Although Adriaan wanted to keep presenting his strong side, the operation changed him. He had to give up his digs and school. Chemotherapy in 1999, however, makes him feel a little better, so he throws a big birthday party and starts a diary. He rereads his older work and is surprised by how much of this concerns life and death. When in August 1999 he realises his time is nigh, he confidently says goodbye.

Adriaan thought big, and he radiated this. Small things like bumping your head against the mantelpiece evoked more emotion than a growing brain tumour. He said once he had been moved to tears by two moments from 'Faustus', in which life is united with a new beginning. His death was to be the beginning of the publication of Aan de oever van iets staan (To stand on the shore of something).

Ad Lakerveld, 2004

(translator's note: this is a summary)

Posthumously, his work is being included in Poet Laureate Gerrit Komrij's anthology of contemporary Dutch poetry, set to appear in January 2004.

Please browse for more information about Adriaan Lakerveld.


Aan de oever van iets staan (poetry and prose), ed. Ad Lakerveld, Fetze Pijlman, Jeroen Lakerveld, Pieter Bol, Suzanne Kind, Wenda Lakerveld; with illustrations by Bethuel Heldt (pinguins) and Adriaan Lakerveld, Publicatiefonds Adriaan Lakerveld, Amsterdam, februari 2001. ISBN 90-806141-1-4

In the anthology:

De Nederlandse poëzie van de 19e, 20e en 21e eeuw in 2000 en enige gedichten. Samenstelling Gerrit Komrij. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 2004.

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Heirs Adriaan Lakerveld, p/a Ad Lakerveld:

Publicatiefonds Adriaan Lakerveld
Quinten Massijsstraat 22
1077 MD Amsterdam
Tel: +31-(0)20-673.44.91

This page is part of the daily poetry newspaper: Rottend Staal Online

© translation Willem Groenewegen / Rottend Staal Online 2004. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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