Maria van Daalen (The Netherlands, 1950) published seven books with Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij BV (Amsterdam). Titles: Raveslag, i.e. ‘The Beat of the Raven’s Wing’ (1989); Onder het hart, literally ‘Underneath the Heart’, i.e. ‘Pregnan­cy’ (1992); Het Hotel, i.e. ‘The Hotel’ (1994), Het geschenk//De maker, i.e. ‘The Gift//The Maker’ (1996); Elektron, muon, tau, i.e. the names of the three smallest particles in the universe, the neutrino’s,  (2000), which is a book of sonnets, partly bilingual American-English,  and Dutch (all sonnets in both languages written by the poet); Yo! de liefde, i.e. ‘Wow! it’s love’ (2003); and De wet van behoud van energie, (2007), ‘The first law of thermodynamics’, probably better rendered as ‘The Great Law of Gender Dynamism’. De zwarte engel, i.e. ‘Black Angel’ (2005), is a collection of twenty short stories and essays, published by the literary publisher ‘kleine Uil’. Bibliophile editions of her work have been published elsewhere, among which her translation of Forrest Gander’s poem “The hugeness of that which is missing”, in “Twelve x 12” by artist Tjibbe Hooghiemstra (Philip Elchers, Groningen 2003). The grand essay on Haitian Vodou, Mirror of Mysteries, is forthcoming, publisher is Querido.

Poetry of Maria van Daalen has been translated (English, Italian, French, Finnish, Bosnian, Bahasa Indonesia, Farsi, Frisian). She has also written many poems directly in American English¹, and book reviews, and has co-edited the wellkn­own Dutch literary magazine De Revisor (1992-1994).

In the Fall of 1995, Maria van Daalen participated in the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, on a grant from the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Amsterdam. While with IWP, she organized several readings for all writers of the program. In the course of 1995/1996 Maria van Daalen was invited to read poetry at the Embassy of The Netherlands (Washington), at the Columbia University (New York), at the UCLA (Los Angeles), at the Harold Washington Library (Chicago), at the LSU (Baton Rouge), at the University of Maryland, and in several libraries in Iowa State. She was appointed Writer-In-Residence with the Centre of International and Comparative Studies at the University of Iowa in January 1996, on a grant from the Iowa Humanities Board. In November 1996 she participated in the World Poetry Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In  December 1996, Maria van Daalen returned to The Netherlands. She was the first, and only, university lecturer to teach Creative Writing at the University of Groningen, in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. For several years she was a guest lecturer with Dutch Studies. The Poetry Festival “No(o)rdschrift” [‘Northscript’], between 1998 en 2000 in three cities, Groningen, Leeuwarden and Bremen (Germany), was her initiative. At this Festival, all poetry was read in three languages, Dutch, Frisian and German, and in all minority languages in the region. Maria van Daalen was invited in April 1998 to the Cúirt International Literature Festival in Galway (Ireland). In August 1999 she read poetry with the members of UMBRA-poets, both at New York University and at the Nuyorican Poets Café, NYC, which makes her the only Dutch poet to ever have read poetry in that wellrespected theatre.

Maria van Daalen also did a presentation in P.S.1 (part of MoMA) in the art project of the Dutch visual artist Jeanne van Heeswijk² (1999). On Feb 25th, 2001, she read again in P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY. She has repeatedly been invited to all major Dutch poetry festivals, including the wellknown yearly festival Poetry International in Rotterdam. In 2003 (March/April) she has stayed in a writer’s apartment in Montréal, Canada, with UNEQ (Union des écrivaines et écrivains québécois), on a grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature, to do research for her essay on Vodou as a conception of reality. While in Montréal, she gave lectures on modern Dutch poetry with Dutch/Québécois CAANS/ACAEN, Chapters Montréal and Ottawa, and she read poetry at the festivals “Bleu Métropolis” (Montréal) and “Rencontre québécoise internationale des écrivains” (Québec). September 16-22th, 2003, Van Daalen was again in USA, to read poetry at Iowa University (IA) and at Brown University (RI). October 17-20th, 2003, she read her poetry in Sarajevo, at the “Incontri internazionali di poesia”. Cf.

From April 18th through May 18th, 2005, Maria van Daalen stayed in Montreal, Canada (Quebec) again, to interview her informants on Haitian Vodou for the grand essay on Vodou. She traveled for this research again to NYC,  Xmas 2005 and July 2006.

From March 21 through April 1st  2006, she was invited to read poetry in South-Africa, in Bloemfontein (Conference) and at the universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Potchefstroom and KwaZulu-Natal, together with the Flemish poet Peter Ghyssaert.

In July 2007, 14-26, she traveled again to South-Africa to read poetry in Durban and at the University of Stellenbosch. She gave a lecture on Vodou at the ‘Huis der Nederlanden’ (‘House of The Netherlands’) in Capetown, for an international audience.

In August 2007, she was officially initiated as a Manbo Asogwe in the tradition of Haitian Vodou, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the presence of the Dutch Consul.

Maria van Daalen was adviser of the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, for the exhibition of Vodou art objects, titled Vodou / Art & Mysticism from Haiti (Nov 2008-May 2009) and for the exhibition “Roots & More” in Afrika Museum, cf.

In 2008, 1-28 Sept, Maria van Daalen was the guest writer in the Dutch Institute in Athens, Greece, in the guest writers’ room, the ‘Van Hasselt Kamer’, with a travel grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

From 12-21Oct. 2008, she participated both as a poet and as a Manbo Asogwe in the Ubud Writers’ Festival in Ubud, Bali.

Because of her great performance in Ubud, she was invited to the Byron Bay Writers Festival in 2010, where she read from her poetry and participated in panels, both as a poet and as a Manbo. She also gave a lecture on Dutch poetry for Dutchlink in Sydney.

From 11-18 Dec. 2011, she was a participant at the Prakriti Poetry festival in Chennai/Madras. From 6-10 April 2012, she was in Montreal, QC, Canada, for a lecture on the freedom of expression at the Université de Montréal, “15h00-15h20 : Maria van Daalen, poet and  public figure, Amsterdam, ‘Political strife in the Netherlands and the dark side of freedom of expression’”.

Maria van Daalen holds an MA (1983) in Dutch Literature and Linguistics from the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam). She has held Dutch grants for writing poetry, from the Dutch Foundation for Literature, since 1993. Maria van Daalen was one of the three organizers of the poetry festival “De Langste Dag” (‘The Longest Day’), Dec 10, 2010, Amsterdam, during which festival some seventy poets read an anthology of Dutch poetry since the 12th C.


1. Poetry of Maria van Daalen has been published in The Southern Review (LSU, Vol. 30, April 1994, Nr.2, pp.326-327, “Boeing”), in Agni (Boston University, 1998, Nr.48, p.42, “The Serpent Sonnet” ) and in 100 Words, (International Writing Program, University of Iowa, Vol. “Water”, “Mud”, “Border”, “Secret”, in 1995 and 1996). For the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, she wrote the series “The Middle Passage”.

2. Three American-English sonnets of Ms Van Daalen were published in: Heeswijk, Jeanne van. ‘I am looking for space and fortune’, voyage through a room — tales about art. ARTIMO Foundation, Amsterdam, 2001, pp.173-175.