Tobi Lakmaker once wrote that he felt that Maggie Nelson knew him best: ‘Despite her not knowing me, it felt like she did when she wrote this in her novel The Argonauts about her transmasculine partner Harry: “I’m not on my way anywhere, Harry sometimes tells inquirers. How to explain, in a culture frantic for resolution, that sometimes the shit stays messy? How to explain that for some, or for some at some times, this irresolution is OK – desirable, even?”’

American writer Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts was published in 2016, a book about her relationship with Harry. Above all else, however, it speaks to embracing fluidity. An entire generation of Dutch writers read her work and fell for Nelson's capacity for shifting effortlessly between essay, poetry and anecdote, her daring, at times brutal honesty, as well as her descriptions of queer love. 

With The Argonauts as their point of departure, Tobi Lakmaker and fellow writers will be discussing auto-fiction, genre mixing, also reflecting on gender as it appears in their own work.

About Tobi Lakmaker
Tobi Lakmaker (b. 1994) writes columns for Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer and for LINDA.meiden. After brief forays into Russian and literary studies, he completed his philosophy degree in 2018. Tobi made his literary debut with one of the most widely discussed books of 2021: De geschiedenis van mijn seksualiteit (The History of My Sexuality).

About Thomas van der Meer
Thomas van der Meer (b. 1986) graduated from the Dutch writing academy Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam in 2019. Since he finds reality more intriguing than anything he himself could ever come up with, it plays a role in everything he writes. Welkom bij de club (Welcome to the Club) is his first novel. Van der Meer writes columns for Dutch daily de Volkskrant and for &C.

Helena Hoogenkamp
Helena Hoogenkamp (1986) wrote wrote ten plays and read poetry at Lowlands, de Parade and Oerol. She writes for the VPRO Gids, Metropolis M, Theatermaker and De Internet Gids, among others. Her short story Kleine zeemeermin (Little Mermaid), accidentally published in 2015. She made her debut in 2021 with the novel Het aanbidden van Louis Claus (The Adoration of Louis Claus), which was very well received in the press.