Kees van der Hoef prize 2022

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In 2020, Flanor won the Kees van der Hoefprijs, which is a Groninger literary prize that is given to a person, a team, or an association that has given a meaningful and helpful contribution to the literary climate in Groningen. The prize is awarded once every two years and since Flanor won the prize last time, one member of the board (chair Merel) was invited to be part of the jury this year. The other jury members were city poet Myron Hamming and author Doeke Sijens. In this blogpost, Merel tells about her experience as part of the jury.


After an online meeting where Flanor member and employee of Noordwoord Maarten Praamstra was present as host, we came to the conclusion that all jury members thought that the team of bookstore Godert Walter should win the prize this year. We discussed their great collection of books that includes a lot of work of authors and poets who just started their career, books about the region Groningen and other non-fiction works about literature, gender, history and philosophy. They also organize events for starters and local authors, which almost no other bookshops do. Furthermore, we wanted to celebrate the expertise of the team at the bookshop. They know a lot about their collection and can always find a book for you that you will like. They are very kind and when you have come there a few times, they remember your name as well as the genres and authors that you like. The greatest argument, for all of us, to award the prize to the team of Godert Walter, was the way they coped with the pandemic these past two years. They have been inventive in finding ways to get books to their customers and have shown boundless energy and extraordinary adaptability in a creative way in doing so. With this creativity and dedication, the team has been an example for the creative sector in and around Groningen as their approach and positivity were contagious to other entrepreneurs.


On Saturday 9 April, I (Merel) had the honour to award the prize to Erwin of Godert Walter as I also had written the jury report. I went to Forum Groningen and started to get a bit nervous when I realized that I had to give my speech to a lot of people who were attending the event. The moment came when the host called out my name and I walked to the podium, got a microphone from her and started my speech. As I looked around the room, I saw people looking at me with great interest. I saw Maarten as he smiled encouragingly and Myron, who gave me a subtle thumbs up. When I concluded my speech by announcing the winner, I felt so happy and proud to give it to Erwin. If you ever find yourself in the city centre, be sure to pay a visit to bookstore Godert Walter!


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