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Holland Park Press

Arnold Jansen op de Haar

Quote from the former Commander of the Dutch Armed ForcesArnold Jansen op de Haar

Arnold was born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in 1962. When growing up he was certain that one day he would be Prime Minister.

After hearing a lot of exciting stories about what happened during the Dutch occupation in the Second World War and especially, as he claims, after seeing the acclaimed film about the Dutch Resistance: Soldier of Orange, he decided that it was his duty to serve his country in quite a different way.

He passed his entrance test to the Dutch Military Academy and graduated with flying colours. Upon graduating he joined the Grenadier Guards infantry regiment. He earned his wings, becoming the proud owner of the red beret which he remains until this day.

Soon after graduating he realised that the intellectual challenge was missing from his life and he began to study English on a part time basis, during the evenings. He successfully completed his first year.

Around this time he began to find his own voice and to write poems.

However a war interrupted his progress. As a Captain he was commanding officer of the unit that secured Tuzla Airbase in Bosnia for incoming UN aid in 1994, one year before the overthrow of the enclave Srebrenica in the former Yugoslavia.

After surviving this war, in 1995 he decided it was the right moment to begin writing full time. He was delighted when in 1996 Martin Ros gave him his first break and published one of his poems in the renowned Dutch literary magazine Maatstaf.

In 1999 his debut novel De koning van Tuzla was published by De Arbeiderspers. To great acclaim Arnold appeared on radio and television.

He followed this in 2002 with his poetry collection Soldatenlaarzen published by JM Meulenhoff.
 
In 2004 he wrote a non-fiction work entitled Van Jan Cremer tot Herman Koch; een literaire wandeling door Arnhem (a Literary Walk through Arnhem, only available in Dutch) published by Bibliotheek Arnhem (municipal Library of Arnhem).
 
Among many other interesting items, this brought to the attention the little known fact that Sir Philip Sidney writer of The Defence of Poetry actually died in Arnhem. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book please contact us.

In 2006 together with the award winning thriller writer Jac Toes, he published De twaalfde man first published as a daily serialisation during the Football World Cup 2006 and published in book form by De Geus, also in 2006.

Arnold’s poems have appeared in many publications including Maatstaf, Zoetermeer, Nieuw Wereld Tijdschrift, Roodkoper en Passionate.
In 2006 Arnold was one of the co-founders of the Arnhems Lezersbal (Arnhem Readers Gala) held on the eve of the Dutch National Book Week.
 
Arnold is also a successful columnist and wrote a column about television for De Gelderlander entitled Wide Screen from 1999 to 2003. From 2003 to September 2009 he wrote a unique weekly column, The Boy from Arnhem, about his own life, for the same newspaper.
 
On the momentous day of 11 September 2009 it was the tenth anniversary of his debut as a columnist and the popularity of his columns has made him a local celebrity.

Holland Park Press is very pleased that this influential columnist now comments on worldwide events in his ground breaking column in our magazine. This column is published in English and Dutch.

Arnold has been a very popular teacher of creative writing courses for quite a few years and currently runs an one-to-one online master class for Holland Park Press.

We are pleased to make available once again Soldatenlaarzen, now renamed Joegoslavisch requiem, to our Dutch readers and for the first time in English as Yugoslav Requiem, translated by the acclaimed Paul Vincent.

We have also re-published De koning van Tuzla in Dutch in October 2009 and in its English translation as King of Tuzla in July 2010.

Finally we are pleased to have published the long awaited sequel, Engel, in December 2009 for our Dutch readers. This novel was translated into English by Bernadette Jansen op de Haar and published under the title Angel in 2011.

Arnold is now working on a new poetry collection with as working title: Mercilessly Loving and five of his new Dutch poems have appeared in the 2nd 2013 issue of poetry magazine Het Liegend Konijn.

In 2013 Arnold ran two workshops at Around the World in Eighty Book in Winchester, he organised, presented and read at Holland Park Press literary party in the just opened Rozet in Arnhem, featuring Karen Jennings, and starred at the Holland Park Press Christmas party.

In 2012 Arnold recited a few of his poem at the Manchester Independent Book Market on 8 June. On Wednesday 25 July he appeared at the Poetry Cafe to talk about who inprires him when writing poetry. He also opened the Holland Park Press Christmas party at the Poetyry Cafe on 19 December.

During 2011 Arnold appeared at the launch of his novel Angel at Paddington Library, London.
 
During 2010 Arnold appeared at the Poetry Cafe, the Royal Festival Hall and the National Galleries of Scotland.

A complete list of Arnold’s appearances is available on the Dutch version of this page.
Finally if you want to join Arnold in discussion please join our forum.
 

Former Commander of the Dutch Armed Forces Peter van Uhm

I got to know Arnold as a commander who was fully trusted and supported by his men. He was also held in high esteem by his bosses and colleagues. You take all your experiences with you, you can’t pick and choose.

Understanding and empathy were very important to Arnold. This is reflected in his literary work. The sometimes extreme experiences from his military career do influence his writing but even so he writes for a broad audience.

He puts his heart in his work. I am pleased to see that, now his work is being translated into English, he is going to reach an even wider public. I wish him every success with this new venture.


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18 May 2011
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06 August 2010
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23 June 2010
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17 June 2010
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07 April 2010
Teaching of Literature
 
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25 March 2010

A Return to Poetry

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16 March 2010

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17 February 2010
As far as writing is concerned, I am a morning as well as an evening person. I am at my most creative early in the morning and at the start of the evening. During the intermittent hours I need to think. I know of writers who complain about this tendency to postpone starting to write.
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19 February 2010

My Writing Ritual (2)

I work at an enormous table. On it are my computer, my desk light and a printer. I even eat and watch television seated at this table. So I must spend at least about twelve hours a day seated at this table, irrespective of whether I write or not. You could say that the table and I are in danger of becoming one being.

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08 January 2010
You can follow Arnold on Twitter
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11 December 2009
Sometimes real life provides the best stories.
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19 December 2009
Was I aware that a novel by Wanda Bommer had the same title Engel and was recently published by Nijgh & Van Ditmar?
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04 November 2009
I am due to appear at Arnhem City Hall.
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08 October 2009
Hear Arnold recite his poems on National Poetry Day.

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01 October 2009
At www.nu.nl Nico Dijkshoorn wrote in his column about a wonderful website http:/www.meertens.knaw.nl/soundbites/ where you can listen to sound bites of Dutch dialects.
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25 September 2009
I am reporting from the office.
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