House poet ‘naked’ on stage

The sixteenth RUG house poet Phillip Rozema will present a theatre performance about the search for happiness on Wednesday, a project marking the official conclusion of his time as house poet.

He was ‘different’ from the start. Phillip Rozema did not only want to create poetry on paper. He chose to use film, gave poetry tours in the Graphic Museum GRID and is now delving into theatre in an impressive final performance at the USVA titled Plusminus. ‘I really like exploring different types of media. But I quickly realised that I enjoy performing and reciting. That suits me.’

Live mindfully

His performance is a personal story about the sense and nonsense in searching for happiness. Not because he, Phillip Rozema, is so great, but more because he feels that others can identify with his story and the search for happiness in general – by making fun of the live mindfully culture, for example, but also by sharing his stories about when he was bullied and how that affected him.

He will take to the stage twice. Rozema plays himself, but his fellow actor, Ischa Wieselmann, will also play him – or, rather, the conscience of the house poet.


‘Through doing this, I am very exposed on stage’, he says. ‘Of course I am sharing things via a special mix of monologues, images and soundscapes, but my conscience challenges me and asks me questions about the things that I say. I find the interaction interesting.’

After his performance, he will publish one last poem on the UK website. In the autumn, a collection of the poems that he published this year will be published. But there are still plenty of performances. For example, he is participating in the LiteraTour, a literary cycle tour from Maastricht to Frankfurt, the final results of which will be presented at the Buchmesse in Frankfurt. He is also performing at the literary festival Globale in Bremen, Poety Unplugged in London and the poetry festival Juni Gedicht in Amsterdam.

He is not afraid that he will fall off of the map when his time as house poet is done. ‘I am going to begin a master’s and naturally I will be focusing on that. But I am going to keep on writing, I have performances planned for the autumn and I am going to keep being creative. Perhaps I will start on an art project. That is something I have time for.’

Interested in attending Plusminus? Tickets cost 7.50 euros and are available via