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Poet and writer Simone Atangana Bekono has been appointed Honorary Fellow at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities as of 1 November 2022. The guiding principle within the fellowship is ‘Intimacy in literature’. Among other things, Atangana Bekono will conduct research together with Dutch Studies and Media Studies students into how intimacy is created in socially-engaged literature between characters who have to relate to their social and cultural position time and time again.
Simone Atangana Bekono (photo: Bob Bronshoff)
Simone Atangana Bekono (photo: Bob Bronshoff)

During her fellowship, Atangana Bekono will contribute as lecturer and artistic researcher to writing workshops within the Dutch Language and Culture Bachelor’s programme, close reading activities and seminars.  Through experimentation and discussions, she wants to explore contemporary literature and audio-visual media from different perspectives together with students in order to reflect on her authorship. In addition, a screening will be organised where Simone Atangana Bekono will share her research results with a broad audience.

Literary talent

Simone Atangana Bekono (1991) made her debut with the collection of poems and letters Hoe de eerste vonken zichtbaar waren (How the first sparks became visible) in 2017. This was awarded the Poëziedebuutprijs Aan Zee in 2018 and the Charlotte Köhler Stipendium in 2019. In 2020, her favourably received debut novel Confrontaties (Confrontations) was nominated for the Libris Literatuur Prijs 2021 and awarded the Hebban Debuutprijs, the Beste Boek voor Jongeren 2021 (Best Book for Young People 2021) and the Anton Wachterprijs 2022 for best literary prose debut. She was declared best literary talent of 2020 and 2021 by the Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant. Atangana Bekono is currently collaborating on the filming of her debut novel. She recently published Zo hoog de zon stond  (2022) for the Brabants Boek Present, which will also be published as a trade edition by De Arbeiderspers this autumn. In the past year, she also wrote columns for the Dutch national newspaper NRC and for the Zomer Magazine (Summer Magazine) of de Volkskrant.

About the Honorary Fellowship

Atangana Bekono is the sixth Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Humanities. The fellowship was previously awarded to opera and theatre director Pierre Audi, writer and publicist Arnon Grunberg, Dutch cabaret performer Freek de Jonge, writer and programme maker Abdelkader Benali and visual artist Antonis Pittas. With the Honorary Fellowship, the Faculty wants to foster interest in the practice of arts and culture in teaching and research.