Christine Otten in U.S.

30 Mar-5 April 2019

Christine Otten will travel to the United States to promote The Last Poets (translated by Jonathan Reeder for World Editions). She will perform at various public events in Washington and participate in a public interview by Brent Edwards at Columbia University in New York.

In The Last Poets, Christine Otten writes about the lives of four Afro- American poets who were popular in the seventies and eighties: ‘The Last Poets’, Uman Bin Hassan, Felipe Luciano, David Nelson and Abiodun Oyewole. The author creates an extraordinarily lively image of fictionalized portraits, typed tape recordings of conversations with eyewitnesses, and lyrics/poems. Otten does not use the poems to spice up the story, rather she lets the words speak for themselves. This approach adds that shady dimension of life as it is – never really comprehensible – and against this background the texts vigorously come alive. Fiction, poetry, and documentary make for a sizzling and rhythmical mixture.

Christine Otten

Christine Otten (b. 1961) is a writer and music journalist. She debuted in 1995 with Blauw Metaal (Blue Metal) the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who is initiated by her elder brother into the mysterious world of music and desire. In Lente van glas (Glass Spring, 1998), the main character is obsessed by musician John Cale. Otten made her breakthrough in 2004 with the much-praised novel The Last Poets about the American poetry and rap group of that name. Her work is often based on real events. Her novel Rafaël (2014) is about the love between Winny, a Dutch woman, and Nizar, a Tunisian. In 2016 Otten published the well-received We had love, we had guns. Otten regularly performs at literary festivals and in theaters, is a presenter and co-founder of a literary variety programme, and teaches creative writing to prisoners.