On a sunlit Easter Monday, Mayflower concluded the Boekenweek 2022 with a book presentation by Leo van Zanen on his volume of verse ‘De Bezoeker’ (the visitor), published in 2021 in the midst of a corona lockdown. Despite the sunny weather, people flocked to the Mayflower, eager to participate in the poetic experience this afternoon had to offer. Van Zanen, a well-known guest-lecturer at Mayflower Bookshop, now took to the floor as author and poet with the enthusiasm and love for his art that he is famous for, and captivated his audience from the very first!
Poet & performer since his student days, Van Zanen was interviewed by his lifelong friend and one-time partner-in-crime Louis Smit. Preceded short introduction, Smit, after touching on their shared university past and joint foundation of literary college fraternity ‘Oubliette’.
questioned Van Zanen in detail on his raison d’etre as a poet, his past and the background of Van Zanen’s poems on subjects as ‘death’, ‘schooldays’ and ‘love’, not forgetting to quiz him on the theme of the Boekenweek: ode to first love. Van Zanen parried with a reading of a poem on first love that he’d only written that morning! As was to be expected, Van Zanen exhibited in this poem the artistry of the Elizabethan wit that he is such a master of: two meanings under the same verb.
Ending each theme with the reading of a poem, the afternoon concluded with some intriguing questions from the fascinated audience, and a signing session for all in the audience who hastened to purchase his book. A literary afternoon full of poetic justice, variation and insights into the poetic mind of Leo van Zanen!

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