‘Describe an event from the perspective of three different characters’. Or, ‘Give the person next to you a song title as inspiration for a piece of writing’. Or, ‘Choose an object in the room and start writing about it’. These are just a few of the assignments KLINK! members set each other during their creative writing evenings, held twice a week.
“During the corona lockdowns we simply moved online in Discord, and pasted our writings into the chat,” tells Terry van Bunder (29, PDEng Smart Buildings and Cities), who founded KLINK! together with former campus poet of Tilburg University, Bart van Popering (upper photo).
It all started with a barbecue attended by members of the various student cultural associations. Conversation turned to the issue of there being as yet no literary association. When (current KLINK! member) Sander Damsma later said jokingly to Van Bunder and Van Popering, “Hey, I heard you guys were setting up a writing association,” their first thought was 'Why don't we?' And so it happened.
That was two years ago. Since then the WhatsApp group run by the ‘pseudo-association’, as it is called in the foreword to the anthology, has grown to nearly fifty members. Van Bunder pauses to think, “KLINK! is growing less explosively than, say, the new chess association Noesis. But actually our gradual growth feels like a good thing to me, as does the way we are slowly building up our activities.”
KLINK! is not yet an official student cultural association, but it has friendly ties with the TU/e cultural federation Scala. Thus, KLINK! was able to give workshops during Introduction. And many KLINK! members participate in other associations, like drama association Doppio.
Twice a week a creative writing evening is held, Van Bunder tells us. “With creative writing it is often easier to start with a topic or some other prompt than to have just a blank sheet of paper or a screen in front of you. That's why creative writing tasks work so well.”
“Bart and I used to think up all the tasks but now the participants happily take over if we're not around.” Most of them write in Dutch, but the few internationals in our group write in English.
In addition, every three weeks the KLINK! book club meets. “Many of our members also enjoy analyzing books and stories– and it doesn't have to be literature.”
Blije jongens dichten niet (Happy lads don't write poetry) brings together the best pieces of writing produced during the evening workshops. Poems, short stories, fragments and spoken-word pieces – whose authors are not all lads – happy or otherwise – but also six lassies.
Van Bunder is proud of the end product: “It is a lovely-looking book with a hard cover, which we can offer for eight euros. We opted for an exclusive print run – forty – but we can easily print more.”
The collection will be presented on Saturday evening at 20.00 hrs in Luna's Corona Room, during an evening of literary readings, spoken word poetry and an open mike session. Entrance is free.