Perdu is an Amsterdam-based literary foundation specialised in poetry and the crossovers between literature and other art forms.
From our current location at Kloveniersburgwal 86, we run the only specialised poetry bookshop in Amsterdam, a small publishing house, and a theatre space where we organise a yearly cultural program, also in partnership with guest programmers and other like-minded cultural organisations. We sometimes organise events and attend literary events and festivals outside of our premises.
We strive to remain an accessible (in every sense of the word) space for experimentation and the enjoyment of literature and culture in the city centre of Amsterdam, where emerging writers and program-makers can get the chance to develop their talent and work with more experienced practitioners.
Perdu started in 1984 as a small bookshop and meeting place for literature enthusiasts on Gerard Doustraat in Amsterdam’s De Pijp district. Perdu’s cultural program, which we affectionately refer to as ‘Avonden’ (Evenings) started as informal readings and passionate discussions held among friends and their extended circles.
Three years in, initiators Chris Keulemans and his then-partner Agnes van Bruggen managed to move into a larger building on the Kerkstraat where in addition to a space for the shop, they had access to the basement where they could organise events. This is when De Verloren Tijd became Stichting Perdu.
Poets, writers, journalists, editors, friends, and fans gathered every week for readings, book presentations, and performances. Graphic design students from the Rietveld Academy made printed copies of the readings, which were given to the invited speakers as a gift. These booklets marked the beginning of Perdu’s small publishing house, which moved on to publish translations into Dutch of international literature that was still relatively unknown in the Netherlands, as well as poetry and prose by emerging Dutch writers.
Since 1995, Perdu has been at its current location at Kloveniersburgwal 86, from which we run a specialised poetry bookshop, a theatre space and our office. Since then, many things have changed, but in a similar way as it started and operated for many years through the initiative and efforts of literature lovers, Perdu is to this day still fuelled by the relentless commitment and dedication of a team of volunteers who run the bookshop, program our events, and help out during the Avonden. The volunteers are supported by the Board and a small office team.
Perdu is a cultural Public Benefit Organisation (PBO). The tax number of Perdu is NL008607783B01.