Dean Bowen (NL, based in Rotterdam) is a poet, performer and psychonaut. He examines the dynamics of the composite identity and how this relates to a political and social positioning of the self. His debut collection Bokman is lyrical, passionate and furious; a personal quest that aims to reveal universal patterns and allows many voices to speak. In stunning fashion, he unravels his own grief and grievances situated on different continents. In doing so, he uproots forgotten histories and dissects the structures that sustain our oppressive political realities. How does an individual stay alive within all those mechanisms? Bowen published on the online platforms Samplekanon and Hard // Hoofd and in magazines such as nY, Tirade and Revisor. His poetry and powerful performance has seen him grace stages both nationally and internationally. Dean Bowen works at Perdu an Amsterdam-based literary platform focused on poetry and experiment. He won the first Van Dale SPOKEN Award and his debut Bokman was nominated for the C. Buddingh Prize.
Bowen questions how he and others relate to the idea of their ‘blackness’ in relation to the diasporic spreading of black bodies over different continents. This ethnic and cultural identity marker has become an international transcontinental dialogue that aims to disrupt the alleged hegemony of the western imperialist narrative.
Through his writing he feels connected to this larger conversation, also because he always feels a stronger link to the black literary tradition than the Dutch. For the new book, he will immerse himself in New Orleans to find vital links to these larger questions around global blackness, and further his non-Dutch style of writing.
Kristina Kay Robinson will be a conversation companion guiding him through the literary and social political realms of the city.