Join us for an exclusive evening with one of the Netherlands’ most exciting new literary talents, poet and novelist Simone Atangana Bekono. The relaxed, informal setting of the Dutch Centre will form a perfect backdrop for an insightful conversation between Simone and Dr Hans Demeyer, Lecturer in Dutch & Comparative Literature at UCL. Using film clips and other visual material, they will talk about her work, the social stigmatization of gender and race, the personal and political, literary form and related topics. Atangana Bekono will also read from her own work.
Simone Atangana Bekono (b. 1991) first came to prominence as a poet. Her 2017 collection how the first sparks became visible was widely acclaimed, translated to multiple languages and won the Poetry Debut Prize Aan Zee. Confrontations, her first novel, was shortlisted for the prestigious 2021 Libris Literature Prize. The book was awarded the Hebban First Novel Award 2021, the prize for Best Book for Young Readers 2021 and the Anton Wachter Prize 2022. It will be published in the UK by Serpent’s Tail in an English translation by Suzanne Heukensfeldt Jansen in 2024. Her latest novel Zo Hoog Stond de Zon (The Sun Was This High In The Sky) came out at the end of last year.
Atangana Bekono’s poetry constantly alternates between combativeness and tenderness, showing how the personal can be poetic and political at the same time. Her fiction likewise combines hard-hitting insight with great tenderness and subtle humour.
Hans Demeyer is Lecturer in Dutch & Comparative Literature at University College London. Together with Sven Vitse, he recently published Affectieve crisis, literair herstel: De romans van de millenialgeneratie (Affective Crisis, Literary Repair: The Novels of the Millennials) (2021; Amsterdam University Press), a study of twenty-first-century literature from the perspective of an affective crisis.
Doors open: 6.30pm
Talk begins: 7pm
Talk ends: 8.30pm
Event closes: 9pm