A century-old poetry book with a previously undiscovered poem written inside by the poet himself and a mystery about an enigmatic muse.

This is just part of the captivating Pierre Kemp exhibition that is currently on display at Maastricht University (UM) Library’s Parlour Vitrine.

Maastricht-born poet Pierre Kemp (1886 – 1967) stands out as one of the most intriguing loners in the 20th-century Dutch poetry. He is renowned for finding inspiration among young women, some of whom he encountered during his almost daily train commute between Maastricht and Eygelshoven, Among them, Eugenie, his first muse whom he met as a child; Mien, the complicated muse; and Mya, the fashionable muse.

Adding to the intrigue, another muse, Frederique Kox, recently joined the list after a poetry book dedicated to her was rescued from a dumpster.

Visit the Inner City Library’s display cabinet in the Parlour Room (Grote Looiersstraat 17) from 1 November 2023 until 31 January 2024 to see this remarkable book, and immerse yourself in the fascinating stories of Kemp and his muses.

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Maastricht University Library stimulates, supports and facilitates the use of UM’s Special Collections and the thoughtful integration of digital technology to advance education and research. Think about how using these books can add value to some of your courses. If you want to know more about how we can support you, contact curator Odin Essers via Ask your librarian. Follow the Special Collections on social media: Maastricht University Special Collections (@specialcollectionsumlibrary) | Instagram and Special Collections – Maastricht University Library | Maastricht | Facebook