Hans Sleutelaar  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Hans Sleutelaar (22 September 1935 - 25 June 2020) was a Dutch poet, co-author of De SS'ers (1985).



Sleutelaar was born on 22 September 1935 in Rotterdam. He first attended Erasmiaans Gymnasium, but did his final exams at Hogere Burgerschool in 1953. Between 1957 and 1959 the editorial office of the literary magazine Gard Sivik was located at the home of his parents, then (until 1964) in the basement of the house at 127b Essenburgsingel in Rotterdam.

Together with Cornelis Bastiaan Vaandrager and Hans Verhagen, Sleutelaar was one of the Template:Ill, a Dutch term indicating the literary movement in the 1960s. Together with Eelke de Jong, Sleutelaar collected 500 fairytales in the collection Template:Ill.

Among other things, Sleutelaar worked as a junior copywriter at Unilever, as a freelance copywriter, as a Haagse Post employee and as editor-in-chief of publisher Boelen. He had his own publishing company from 1985 to 2000. He lived in Normandy and for a while in Thailand.

in 2016 a collection was published about poets of the 1960s called Sleutelaar worden. Herinneringen van en aan een zwijgende dichter. In November 2016, Sleutelaar was awarded the Anna Blaman Prijs. Stephan Warmenhoven devoted a television documentary to Sleutelaar named: "Sleutelaar is hier", which premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in early 2018.

Sleutelaar died in Rotterdam on 25 June 2020.



  • Schaars licht, De Bezige Bij, 1979
  • Vermiste stad: Rotterdamse kwatrijnen, De Bezige Bij, 2004
  • Wollt ihr die totale Poesie ? : korte en zeer korte gedichten, De Bezige Bij, 2015


  • Sleutelaar worden. Herinneringen van en aan een zwijgende dichter. Studio Kers, 2016


  • Kurt Schwitters. Anna Bloeme en ik. Gedichten 1912-1947. Vianen, Kwadraat, 1983. 77 p.
  • Kurt Schwitters. Op de bank. Utrecht, Kunstzaal De Reiger, 1986. 6 p.

As co-author

  • Sprookjes van de Lage Landen, Eelke de Jong, Hans Sleutelaar. 1972
  • De onbekende lotgevallen van Klein Duimpje en Hans & Grietje. Sprookjes uit de Nederlandse overlevering. Eelke de Jong, Hans Sleutelaar. 1973
  • Nieuwe sprookjes van de Lage Landen, Eelke de Jong, Hans Sleutelaar. 1974
  • Alle sprookjes van de Lage Landen. Eelke de Jong, Hans Sleutelaar. 1985
  • De SS'ers. Nederlandse vrijwilligers in de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Eight inverviews by Armando en Hans Sleutelaar. De Bezige Bij, 1967

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