Quick to:

What does the role of City Poet entail?

Leeuwarden was not only European Capital of Culture in 2018, but has also been a UNESCO City of Literature since the end of 2019. Leeuwarden, with all its towns and villages, is more than worthy of a City Poet.
The City Poet writes about Leeuwarden, reflects on its everyday life. A City Poet connects with all that happens throughout the province and keeps a finger on the pulse of its cultural and social developments. The City Poet has an independent and connecting role for the whole of Leeuwarden. The City Poet is critical and involved and encourages a love for verbal art.

Who is Marrit Jellema?

Marrit Jellema (1993) won a Spoken Award in the ‘lyrics’ category in 2019. In June 2021, her spoken word debut album super personalwas released and in September 2021 she was in the final of the NK poetry slam. Her second album Forever, was released at the beginning of 2023. Marrit followed the Urban Arts Talent program of the fund for cultural participation from April 2021 to February 2023 to further develop herself as an artist. She regularly gives poetry and spoken word workshops, organizes the spoken word event ‘High Words’ together with Explore The North and City of Literature Leeuwarden and performs on stages throughout the country. On January 30, 2024, Marrit Jellema was unanimously named City Poet by a five-member jury. She is the first City Poet after Derwent Christmas, who was succeeded in 2009 by City Artist Marten Winters.

Watch the video

City poet Marrit Jellema has recorded a video in which she recites the poem No ode without pain and introduces herself to the residents of the City of Leeuwarden.

Go to the video ‘Marit Jellema – No ode without pain‘.

The jury

The jury consists of the following members:

  • Mrs R. Klandermans – Van der Velde bookseller and writer.
  • Mrs C. Geurtsen – Dutch teacher Piter Jelles.
  • Mrs T. van der Steege – project coordinator UNESCO Leeuwarden City of Literature.
  • Mr B. Temme – Teacher trainer NHL Stenden, Dutch-Frysk team.
  • Mrs G. de Graaf – ‘voice from the city’, with a passion for literature and poetry.

Previous City Poets and City Artists

  • Arjan Hut
  • Derwent Christmas
  • Marten Winters
  • The duo Daan Levy and Jacco de Boer
  • Jamila Faber
  • Cote Create


As City Poet, you receive a payment of €4,000 for completing the project plan. And an honorarium of € 4,000 per year for the verbal arts to be delivered and associated presentation moments. The City Poet is free to set their own fee for other commissions.

Do you have any questions?

Please contact the City of Leeuwarden or send an e-mail to: stadsdichter@leeuwarden.nl