christine-otten---the-netherlandsChristine Otten was born in Deventer , The Netherlands, in 1961. She studied history and journalism and while still a student, started writing reports, interviews and stories for the magazines De Groene Amsterdammer and Vrij Nederland. She then extended her interest in the field of fiction writing, publishing three works - two novels and a book of essays and short stories between the years 1995 and 2000. She now writes for the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and also teaches creative writing at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Holland ’s major art college. Inspired by the story of the turbulent lives and work of The Last Poets, a legendary African-American rap/performance/poetry group, she wrote h er latest prose project, De Laatste Dichters, (The Last Poets) which was published in 2004. Known in the sixties and seventies for their groundbreaking poetry and performances set to drum music, the work of The Last Poets, drew Otten firmly into the world of spoken word poetry. For this book Otten undertook major research in the United States, spending time talking to families, friends and associates of the group members, eliciting tales of their lives that were to have a profound influence on the basis of her own poetic work and performance. De Laatste Dichtersmeant a serious change in Otten’s work. A whirlwind of stories, moods, voices, poems, politics, love and music, it is daring, unconventional and sometimes shocking. Christine Otten has performed at major festivals in The Netherlands and in May this year, as part of the launching of her latest book, she toured with The Last Poets and several other Dutch artists, poets and rappers. On stage she is accompanied on saxophone and computer by the composer and multi-instrumentalist Jan Klug.

Bibliography

Blauw Metaal (Blue Metal), Atlas, 1995 
Lente van Glas (Glass Spring), Atlas, 1998 
Engel en andere muziekverhalen (Angel and other music stories), Atlas, 2000 
De Laatste Dichters (The Last Poets), Atlas, 2004