Joris van Casteren
(Rotterdam, NL 1976) is a writer, poet and journalist. His book Het zusje van de bruid (The Bride's Sister, 2011) deals with his relationship with an addicted borderline girl. In his characteristic mixture of reportage, autobiography and historical writing Van Casteren tells the story of an amour fou. In 2008 he wrote the autobiographical Lelystad. He was accused of grave insult because of the book, which was nominated for the 2009 AKO Literature Prize. Van Casteren studied journalism and philosophy. At the age of 21 he became an editor with the Amsterdam based weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, where he made a name for himself with extensive reports. Four stories which he made in Nigeria were collected in Redactie Binnenland (Home Desk) and awarded the Dick Scherpenzeel Prize. Van Casteren also worked for the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad and the weekly Vrij Nederland and now works for the Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool. He published poetry in Maatstaf and Passionate Magazine. He also wrote portraits of forgotten poets and writers, published a collection of his reports in Een vreselijk land (A Terrible Country) and the collection of poems Grote atomen (Large Atoms). In January 2013 he published his novel Been in de IJssel (Bone in the IJssel).(Wu 2013 GR)
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With the PEN Awards Oxfam Novib and Dutch PEN honour writers, journalists and filmmakers who, against the current, and at the risk of their own lives, search for the truth and spread it. Writer an secretary of PEN Netherlands Manon Uphoff will present the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award in Theater aan het Spui, as part of the Writers Unlimited Winternachten festival The Hague. The Syrian writer Samar Yazbek witnessed the brutal violence against demonstrating citizens in her country. She published about it, was severely threatened and consequently had to leave the country.
The other prize winners this year are Enoh Meyomesse (Cameroun), Nargess Mohammadi (Iran), Déo Namujimbo (Congo) and Büþra Ersanlý (Turkey). Samar Yazbek is the only winner present during the ceremony.
The prize-winning ceremony is followed by a debate organised by Dutch PEN about censorship, self-censorship and the ethics of writers, journalists and bloggers, chaired by Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing. Arabist Petra Stienen, Remco Breuker (a professor and an expert on East Asia), Michel Maas (a correspondent in Indonesia) and writer Joris van Casteren. Prizewinning ceremony is in English, the debate in Dutch.
The world famous Polish writer and journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007) reported numerous historical events in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with a great deal of attention to human detail. The work of writers like Lieve Joris and Geert Mak carries traces of his influence. Artur Domosławski wrote a controversial biography. Wim Brands (VPRO Boeken) talks to Artur Domoslawski, Joris van Casteren (Lelystad, The Bride's Sister) and Frank Westerman (Animal, Upper Animal, Ararat) on the slippery slopes of journalism and literature. Are writers allowed to lie the truth? In English.
Climbers of mount Olympus, romantic idealists, Doktor Spocks and bungyjumpers to hell, write themselves a poetic road to the future. Four poets and their vision: Pieter Boskma, Ruben of Gogh, Astrid Lampe and Christine Otten were commissioned by Winternachten to write a visionary poem. They recite their poems and discuss it with Joris van Casteren. Christine Otten is accompanied by saxophone player Jan Klug.