Dean Bowen

© Esther Lutgendorff

Dean Bowen

The poet and performer Dean Bowen was born in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. He delves into forgotten history, suppressed and/or untold stories, and questions political and social dynamics. His first poetry collection, “Bokman” (Uitgeverij Jurgen Maas 2018), was nominated for the prestigious C. Buddingh’ Prize.
As a master of stage presence, he impresses audiences with his powerful presentations, leading him to international stages. In 2015, Dean Bowen received the Van Dale SPOKEN Award.
In the impactful and polyphonic poems of his debut collection “Bokman,” Dean Bowen reflects on how Dutch post-colonialism inscribes itself into his own identity. In addition to his writing and performing activities, the author conducts various workshops, engages in literary mediation, and is involved in cultural politics. In 2019 and 2020, Bowen served as the City Poet of Rotterdam. His work, which explores questions of identity and their intersections with politics and society, has gained international recognition.Among numerous other publications, Dean Bowen is featured in the anthology “Das schwarze Europa” (The Black Europe), edited by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Verlag das Wunderhorn 2021); about this anthology, it is said:
“The personal experiences and works of these poets transcend national and continental borders. They were born in Africa, the Caribbean, or Europe, with African roots. At the same time, they are children of Europe, as almost all of them grew up in Europe. Their poetry challenges the concept of the diaspora as well as that of national literature.”

Dean Bowen undeniably belongs to the outstanding voices of these Europeans who embrace and promote this challenge.


Citizenship: Netherlands

Lives in: Rotterdam

Residence: December 2023


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