Bedankt Brussels!

After our XIV symposium and IV Pedqagogical Conference, recently celebrated in Brussels (September, 12-15), Daan Janssens prepared and performed this brilliant chronicle in the best poetry slam tradition. A big hearttelijk bedankt to Daan, to An Leenders and her great organisational Belgian team  from Creatief Schrijven!


Impressions of neighbouring lives in writing

by Daan Janssens

in a room filled with people who write and teach about writing

so I am here now to have my words be scrutinized by all of you

there is a vulnerability to all this


a Spanish linguist, a Finnish writer, a Dutch editor, an English teacher, a Belgian slam poet, an Irish organizer, a French literary reviewer, another Spanish linguist, a Dutch teacher, an English writer all walk into a bar or a restaurant or a tea-room or maybe just this building in the heart of Brussels


would be a great way to start a very elaborate joke that will probably miss its punch line several times

in several different ways

in several different languages

most likely with a build-up greater than the eventual laughter will ever be

An Leenders, Creatief Schrijven director

so let me stray you away from this bad joke that is not even a joke and guide you through some of the things you may have heard passing through these hallways or whirling through the curls in the ornate banisters

or may actually not have heard because there was so much to be heard and seen


I’ll call this a new masterpiece and give it a proper title

‘impressions of neighbouring lives in writing’


is there such a thing as a native language when writing

the native language of conferences seems to be English

sifted through different accents through different vocal chords with differing ways of expressing themselves

idiosyncrasies as a new wave – a new state of writing

a roundtable conversation that was actually provided with a round table always a beautiful coincidence

Javier Sagarna, EACWP President

to be honest it was more of a smoothed-out octagonal shape

talk about creative europe

not only a governmental body

but most importantly an idea conveyed through different tongues

talk about war

warmongers are scared of words – words carry meaning beyond the grasp of a bombshell

as young writers share their texts around museum walls with newfound responsibility

have a jam session with the new school and the old school

the autonomy in the digital age – phone-driven writers colliding with the power of print

the overwhelming sounds of the new generation fed by inspiration from their elders

that text is the only thing we know about

and the best part of a text is skipping the jokes – something we have already established of course that I am not here to joke around

Sivan Shiknagy (Israel), winner of the 1st. European Flash Fiction Contest

and writing is being a director and a method actor at the same time

and there are no rules – so I would say jokes are back on the menu and I hope none of you are suffering from indigestion

we all want to get linked with each other on LinkedIn

develop a network like a spider’s web

our eight imaginary limbs eagerly waiting to be triggered

the notification bubbles with new faces resembling dewdrops

there are versions a versions b versions b.2 versions c 2.0 / b 2.0

an alphabet soup of possibilities tossed about with some numerical values to denote some degrees of progress

this is progress

there will always be progress

and boomerang is not an english word

and the question is are you having fun

Jennifer Steil (USA) and Christine Leang (France): EACWP members

there is a possibility of living in an archetypal reality – I would do so

because real life refuses to give me a narrative

structure me, world – petrify my existence in the liveliest way

maxim me

into words that fulfill exactly their intended purpose to give meaning

sentences with just the right amount of words giving just the right amount of information

paragraphs connecting all these words together

until I would end up with an entirety of text

slightly ambiguous slightly obscure but an entirety nonetheless

there are images of roast chicken as the rest of the venue is shrouded in silence

images of clothes tumbling in a dryer

images of an airplane simulation

images of waves crashing into marbled pebbles on an unknown shore

Helena Blakemore (University of East London) and Andrea Holland (University of East Anglia)

images of a time-lapsed city under construction as a voice wonders how squirrels find their provisions under a blanket of snow

a person can be changed

into a donkey walking down a road to become a changed man

during a certain period of time – a subjective construct


impressions gathered from the past two days in all of your lives

two days filled to the brim – maybe even beyond the brim overflowing cascading with stories and new information

two days of exchange rivaling the busiest stock market days

dow jones who? wall street what?

two days of gathering bits and pieces to enhance your own ways of teaching

two days of strengthening the relations between all of these creative writing programs and organizations

days that will hopefully last beyond the petty bounds of sunset and sunrise.

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