City poet Iris Penning says goodbye

Iris Penning city poet of Eindhoven
Photo Credit: Eindhoven Municipality (Studio040)

“This is my city”, one of Iris Penning’s many poems begins. After more than four years, she says goodbye to being the city poet of her beloved Eindhoven. Normally the city poet remains in office for two years, but due to the corona period, Penning was allowed to stay longer. “It’s really almost become part of my identity”.

“I plan to stay where I am for a while, think back on those 4.5 years and enjoy the summer. Then I can start working full blast again”. Before then, Iris only has to present her new poetry collection. She will do this during the announcement of the new city poet on 4 July.

Then she just goes back to what she always does. “My dream is to have sold out theatres and to distribute my texts as much as possible. I want to inspire people, even more than I might do now”.


While many people want to quickly forget the corona time, it was very different for Iris as an artist. “The corona period was quite crazy for me. I like to think about what is still possible”. During that period, she published booklets about corona, performed for the King during Koningsdag (king’s day) and gave private concerts to two people at the same time. “It took too long, but being a city poet in times of corona is a special task”.


Iris also helped with the search for her successor. “We really have a lot of beautiful poets in Eindhoven. I think we have enough for the next twenty years”.

While she preferred to do everything alone, others may need help. That is why Iris can personally guide the new city poet. “The best poets are not necessarily the best entrepreneurs, so it is nice that they now receive a little more guidance”. Above all, according to Iris, a city poet must be himself. “You are part of the city’s identity, so do it on your own way”.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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