Dean Bowen & Maurice Ruffin

How does gentrification damage the soul of a city? How does racism spread like a rhizome across the world? What is the importance of joy in literature, when the world is so full of sorrow? In the fifth episode of Current Literary Affairs Gülden Ilmaz discusses these topics with writer Maurice Carlos Ruffin from New Orleans and poet Dean Bowen from Rotterdam.

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Current Literary Affairs is a podcast by SLAA and Read My World. This podcast was realized thanks to Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Productiehuis Noord, the media channel of ‘Verdedig Noord’.

Current Literary Affairs is a podcast about current events through the lens of literature, in which we engage in conversation with writers from all over the world. How do the political circumstances in their country of residence influence their life and work? What are the topics we really should be talking about? CLA brings urgent conversation about fear and hope, outrage and pride, personal and political topics, books and art.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is author of the short story collection The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You (2021), which was Editor’s Choice of the New York Times and was nominated for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and the Story Prize. His first novel, We cast a Shadow (2019) was nominated for several awards, among which the PEN/Faulkner Award. Maurice Ruffin was born and raised in New Orleans and teaches Creative Writing at the Louisiana State University. In 2022 Ruffin is the Grand Marshal of the Mardi Gras Krewe of House Floats.

Dean Bowen (1984) is poet and performer. His debut collection of poetry called Bokman (2018) was nominated for the C. Buddingh’-prijs. He has published poems on online platforms SampleKanon and Hard//hoofd as well as in magazines like nY and Kunsttijdschrift Vlaanderen. Bowen won the first Van Dale SPOKEN Award in the category ‘Poetry’. In 2020 he published Ik vond geen spoken in Achtmaal.