The Kempen Book of Psalms

Musica Divina presents The Kempen Book of Psalms of Poesia Divina in Geel, the heart of the Kempen region

Musica Divina is the autumn festival brought to you by Festival of Flanders Kempen. In 2021, it will be held in abbeys, churches and beguinages in Geel, Herentals, Turnhout, Hoogstraten, Heist-op-den-Berg, Lier, Postel, Averbode en Tongerlo. The festival is a Kempen story through and through. A story full of heavenly music.

From 2017 until 2020, a new aspect was linked to Musica Divina: Poesia Divina. At each festival, nine poets were asked to write a psalm based on the festival motto. It wasn’t an easy task. What is a psalm, a sung prayer, at the beginning of the 21st century?

The Festival of Flanders Kempen organised Poesia Divina in partnership with the Poëziecentrum, and also with CC Zwaneberg in Heist-op-den-Berg in 2018, CC ’t Schalilken in Herentals in 2019 and CC ’t Getouw in Mol in 2020. The very first edition was held in Tongerlo Abbey. Hardly any restrictions were imposed on the poets. Their task was to write a psalm linked to the theme of the festival. The result of this fascinating quest is a genuine “Kempen Book of Psalms”.

The Kempen Book of Psalms will be presented on 16 September at CC De Werft in Geel. Especially for this book presentation, Sara Salvérius has composed a preludium and postludium for solo accordion for the Psalm van Sylvie that Sylvie Marie wrote for the first edition of Poesia Divina.

The sung prayers came from the poets: Geert Van Istendael, Runa Svetlikova, Peter Theunynck, Amina Belorf, Reine de Pelseneer, Lucienne Stassaert, Luuk Gruwez, Bert van Raemdonck, Mahlu Mertens, Delphine Lecompte, Bart Stouten, Paul Demets, Charles Ducal, Gaea Schoeters, Maarten Inghels, Moya De Feyter, Els Moors, Lisette Ma Neza, Ruth Lasters, Paul Bogaert, Michaël Vandebril, Mark Van Tongele, Inge Braeckman, Lotte Dodion, Marc Tritsmans, Anna Borodikhina, Carmien Michels, Sofie Verdoodt, Bruno Neuville, David Troch, Lies van Gasse, Jeroen Theunissen, Sylvie Marie, Kurt De Boodt, Jana Arns and Frederik L. De Laere.

All the film recordings of the psalms can still be watched and listened to at

The book will be on sale for € 20 from all good bookshops and the Poëzieshop from September onwards.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped to make Poesia Divina possible. Our thanks to the Flemish Community, our main sponsor IOK, the Poëziecentrum, and all the city and town councils, church councils, cultural centres, volunteers and of course the poets who took on the challenge. We would also like to thank Emilie Lauwers who provided the design for each edition of the festival and has also made this book so visually alluring.

16 September 2021
19:30 Book Presentation The Kempen Book of Psalms - CC De Werft - Geel
20:30 Concert Peltomaa Fraanje Perkola - St.-Amand Church - Geel

The 36 psalms of Poesia Divina inspired photographers Brigitte t'Sijen, Greet Verelst, Edwin Thys, Paul De Keyser, Luc Proost and Alidoor Dellafaille to create a suitable image. These works will be exhibited free of charge in CC De Werft in Geel from June to September 2021.
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