Jacob (Jac.) van Hattum (Wommels, 10 February 1900 – Amstelveen, 19 August 1981) was a Dutch writer and poet. His actual name was Van Hattem, but due to an error at the registry office it became 'Van Hattum'.

Initially working as a teacher, he began writing poems in the late 1920s. These originally appeared in Christian journals and socialist anthologies. Van Hattum made his debut in 1932 with the cheaply released bundle of Job breakers. In the second half of the 1930s he worked on the road with several collections of poetry, which made their own, somewhat ironic sound: Poems (1936), De pothead plant (1936) and Frisia non cantat (1938). With Ed. Hoornik and Gerard den Brabander, he belonged to the 'Amsterdam School', which was a reaction to the magazine Forum and also allowed the anecdotal in poetry. In 1938, the trio published a book of poetry with a reference to the name of E. du Perron entitled Three on One Platform. A second volume was published in 1941.

Van Hattum, however, was a true individualist who didn't like collaboration very much. He was not committed to literary magazines, such as Hoornik. Nor did he find his way to the café, like Den Brabander. He was a real writer, who published a collection of poetry every year for a time, and when the wartime made it impossible for those who were not members of the Kultuurkamer, he published illegal prints in-house, which were nonconformist in terms of content and form: Christmas song 1942, Neerland's language (1943), North-North-West (with Reinold Kuipers, 1944) and Social Aid (1944) for example. During the war he also managed to publish other editions, such as his prose debut Van Odrimond, Millimas and others (1941), a collection of fairy tales, which foreshadowed his second kind of belles-lettres, the fairy tales or short sketches and stories with hidden criticism of the hypocrisy and inequality of society. His sensitivity to this stemmed in part from his homosexuality, which was concealed in the last years of the war and revealed openly in his work in later decades. In 1941 Willem E. Blom dedicated his poetry collection Procul negotiis to Van Hattum; the latter would write a poem on Blom and instruct him to be printed in Blom's third volume Inter alia. After the war, Van Hattum went straight ahead with his many small books, both the sometimes sarcastic short stories and poetry with light undertones: A Summer (1946), Men and Cats (1947), The Heart on the Nail and Eule beule polka dot (both 1954). In that year his beautifully executed Collected Poems were published by van Oorschot. He financed part of his expenses himself, as was the custom of a publishing house like De Beech, but he also regularly sent new year's wishes with a poem on it. Also in the fifties and sixties his work was well sold and considered 'modern': Fairy tales and tales (1955), Do not Reproduce, an adaptation of the sonnets of Shakespeare (1959), The sweetest guest with a pronounced homosexual impact (1961), The Gum Child (1965), Loze aren (1970) for example.


Van Hattum by J. Hardonk (c.1930)

In the 1960s, he began to become eccentric. He usually dressed in a kazuifel and expressed Roman Catholic worship in all he did. In the early 1970s, he was admitted to a nursing home. That a choice of his stories was included in the fund of the prestigious Stichting De Roos was no longer allowed to penetrate him: Seven stories with drawings by Tom Eyzenbach (1977). After his death in 1981, a number of bibliophile books were published, but van Oorschot also published his Collected work in two parts in 1993-1995. In reality, it was a choice, since Van Hattum's production was very large. Many of his stories and poems have not yet been published. Van Hattum's work can also be found in numerous anthologies, from his famous poem 'You Socialist Girl' in Flarden (1932) published by the anarchist socialist Henk Eikeboom via the Book Week gift of 1941 to Gerrit Komrijs Dutch poetry from the 19th to the 21st century in 2000 and some poems (13th edition, 2004).


My published books:

See my published books

BACK TO HOME PAGE