Künstler 2006 – Weltklang - Nacht der Poesie

Gülten Akin

Gülten Akin (born 1933, Turkey) is a pioneering poet in contemporary Turkish poetry. She studied law, and worked for many years as a lawyer and teacher as well as a literary critic and essayist. She is the founder and leader of a human rights organization. Writing poetry is synonymous for her with assuming social responsibility.
In the course of the last 50 years Gülten Akin has presented a traditional, patriarchal society’s key themes from a female perspective. Her poetry deals with questions of equal rights, with justice and with love, and addresses the underprivileged members of society. She writes about people who have been unable to find their place in that society and are excluded from social, political and economic opportunities. Akin refers to tough social and economic conditions, but places her trust in the struggle of human beings against oppression, poverty and exploitation.
Publications (selection): Collected Poems (2004), Sessiz Arka Bahceler (1998), Sonra Iste Yaslandim (1995), Sevda Kalicidir (1991), Ilahiler (1983)
Awards (selection): Antalya Golden

Jayanta Mahapatra

The physicist Jayanta Mahapatra (born 1928, India) did not publish his first volume of poetry until aged 40, after many years of working as a scientist. He has since become a nationally and internationally fêted poet. Mahapatra writes in English and in Oriya, one of the 23 officially recognized languages in India, which is written in its own alphabet. He sees himself as a mediator between cultures: he is a modern city-dweller whose subjects are deeply rooted in the socio-cultural inheritance of India. It is this mixture which constitutes the uniqueness of his poetic voice. His poems have a melancholy sound, are written subjectively and at the same time refer to society and the environment.
He has published 16 volumes of poetry and his work has been frequently represented in international anthologies and journals. He is himself the publisher of the respected literary journal Chandrabhaga.
Publications (selection): Chali (2006), Random Descent (2005), Tikie Chhayee (2001), Bare Face (2000)
Awards (selection): Gangadhar National Award for Poetry (1994), First Prize Scottish International Open Poetry Competition (1990), Sahitya Akademi Award (1981), Japan Foundation Visitors Award (1980), Jacob Gladstein Memorial Award Chicago (1975), Second Prize International Who´s Who in Poetry London (1970)

Hsia Yu

Hsia Yu (born 1956, Taiwan) studied film and theatre at the National Taiwan Academy of the Arts. Following long stays abroad in France and the USA, she now lives in Taipei. She has published numerous essays and plays. Four volumes of her poetry have appeared in Taiwan to date. Since her first publications at the beginning of the Eighties, Hsia Yu has been seen as one of the most important young voices in Taiwanese literature.
Publications (selection): Beiwanglu/Memoranda (1983), Ventriloquy (1991), Rub Ineffable (1995), Salsa (1999), Fusion Kitsch (2002)

Lebogang Mashile

She grew up in the USA as the daughter of exiled South Africans. In 1995 she returned with her parents to South Africa and studied law and international relations in Johannesburg.
Lebogang Mashile (born 1979, South Africa) is one of the most important poetry performers in South Africa. With her publications and appearances she has had a decisive influence above all on the poetry of younger women in South Africa. Mashile’s powerful poetic language is of extraordinary musicality. Her CD Lebo Mashile Live, published in 2005, on which she reads her poems accompanied by a band, gives an impression of how closely her poetry is connected to its direct performance. She is a member of the Feela Sistah! Spoken Word Collective, founded in 2003. In 2004 Lebogang Mashile was nominated for the DaimlerChrysler South Africa Poetry Award, and in 2005 she made her debut as an actor in the film Hotel Ruanda by Terry George, which was nominated for three Oscars. She is the producer and presenter of a documentary series in which she shows the lives of South African women.
Publications: In a Ribbon of Rhythm (2005), Lebo Mashile Live (2005)

Sainkho Namtchylak

Sainkho Namtchylak (born 1957 in Tuva, an autonomous republic in Southern Siberia) learnt the traditional overtone singing of the Turkic peoples from her grandmother. Aged 20 she moved to Moscow, where she made contact with the Moscow avant-garde scene and established herself as a singer while still a music student. Since the 1990s she has devoted herself to the synthesis of traditional Siberian music with Western musical styles such as jazz and pop, as well as to collaborations in the fields of music, theatre and film. In recent years she has increased her engagement with the creative possibilities of electronic music. For her album “Naked Spirit” (1998) she won the “Album Of The Year – World Music” prize.

Peter Rühmkorf

In his first volume of poetry "Irdisches Vergnügen in g" the virtuosity of Rühmkorf's (born 1929, Germany) poetic technique can already be seen: he parodies and satirizes given poetic forms, combines so-called standard language with slang and with sloppy, colloquial German, takes words out of their usual context and puts them into new contexts. For the publication of his works he prefers a hybrid form: his volumes of poetry include essays, which almost always discuss the poet’s craft. "Walther von der Vogelweide", "Klopstock und ich" and "Strömungslehre I" all contain conversations, letters, essays on poetic technique, in particular regarding the modalities of a writer’s existence today, as well as Rühmkorf’s own poems and, in the first of these volumes, poems of Walther von der Vogelweide in Rühmkorf’s translation; all these elements mirroring each other respectively. "Die Jahre die Ihr kennt" combines the author’s autobiographical memoirs with his own reviews, political lampoons and poems. An edition of his collected works appeared in 1999.
Publications (selection): Irdisches Vergnügen in g (1959), Walther von der Vogelweide, Klopstock und ich (1975), Phoenix - voran (1979), Selbstredend und selbstreimend. Gedichte - Gedanken – Lichtblicke (1987), Laß leuchten (1993), Tabu II (2004)
Awards (selection): Erich Kästner Prize (1980), Arno Schmid Prize (1986), documenta-writer (1987), Heinrich Heine Prize (1988), honorary doctorate from the University of Gießen (1989), Georg Büchner Prize (1993)


Sjón (born 1962in Reykjavík, Iceland) is one of Iceland’s most versatile artists. He was only 15 whaen he published his first book of poems, which has since been followed by eleven more.
Sjón’s literary poetry and novels have been translated into twenty different languages, with a selection of his poems in English, Night of the Lemon, being published in 1993 by Greyhound Press and his novel The Blue Fox (Skugga Baldur) winning the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2005 and being nominated for the Jan Michelski Prize for Literature in 2011 and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009.
He also writes opera libretti, plays and screenplays. But in the area of film, Sjón is not only a writer of screenplays but also writes song lyrics, including for ‘Dancer in the Dark’ by Lars von Trier, which earned him an Oscar nomination. For Björk, who played the lead role in that film, he had already written many songs such as ‘Bachelorette’ on the album Homogenic (1997) and ‘Wanderlust’ on the album Volta (2007).
He has been a musician himself under the pseudonym of Johnny Triumph, releasing the song ‘Luftgitar’ (air guitar) with the Icelandic band The Sugarcubes, of which Björk was a member.
His artistic work also includes performance art: he was a member of the performance group ‘Medusa‘ in the 1980s, which was predominantly influenced by Surrealism. The range of Sjón’s creative work makes him a unique artist, whose creativity seems to know no bounds.  
Publications (selection):
Stálnótt (1987)
Myrkar fígúrur (1998)
söngur steinasafnarans (2007)
ljóðasafn 1978 - 2008 (anthology) (2008)

Gerald Stern


Gerald Stern (*1925) lebt in Lambertville, New Jersey. Er lehrte unter anderem an der New Yorker Columbia University, der University of Pittsburgh und am Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Zuletzt erschien von ihm „Everything is Burning“ (W.W. Norton, New York 2005) und seine Autobiographie-in-Essays „What I Can’t Bear Losing - Notes from a Life“ (W.W. Norton, New York 2004). Sein Werk wurde mit zahlreichen Preisen und Stipendien ausgezeichnet, unter anderem dem National Book Award, dem Preis der Guggenheim Foundation und dem Ruth-Lilly-Prize. 2005 wurde er mit dem Wallace Stevens Award ausgezeichnet.

Raphael Urweider

With the numerous awards for his debut Lichter in Menlo Park, Raphael Urweider (born 1974, Switzerland) light-footedly stormed the stage of poetry and “hurtled along the route to success as a young poetry star.”
He is one of the most versatile, creative and innovate authors writing in German. He has made his name, apart from as a poet, above all with his work as a theatre musician and in performances with rap and hiphop projects. He has composed together with, among others, Hans Koch, producing with the latter the music for the play Dreiraff oder die reinste Entsorge by Oswald Lipfert (after August Stramm), which was performed at the Schlachthaus Bern in March 1999. Urweider’s poetry is heavily determined by the musicality of the language and characterized by his verbal acrobatics.
Publications : Lichter in Menlo Park (2000), Das Gegenteil von Fleisch (2003)
Awards (selection): Work Stipend of the Deutsche Literaturfonds (1999), Leonce and Lena Prize (1999), Literatur-Förderpreis der Stadt Bremen (2001), 3sat Award in the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition at Klagenfurt (2002), New York Stipend of the Kranichstein Prize for Literature (2002), Clemens-Brentano-Förderpreis für Literatur der Stadt Heidelberg (2004)

Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski (born 1945, Poland) is one of the most important writers in contemporary Polish literature. His work belongs to the literary canon of Poland and can be found in encyclopaedias and school books. As one of the spokesmen of the "Generation 68", whose programme he formulated in the manifesto "The Unpresented World" (1974), Adam Zagajewski can be counted among the modern classics of contemporary Polish literature.
Adam Zagajewski has made his name above all as a poet, novelist and essayist. Close in spirit to the Nobel Prize winners Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska, Zagajewski’s work is inspired by religion, philosophy and politics. His poetic works are both deeply anchored in history and of great modernity. Original and contemporary, but rooted in tradition, ironic and melancholy, Zagajewski’s poetry represents an ongoing contribution to the modern history of international poetry. His works "conjure up life’s diversity and scrutinize the core of things with ironic distance. His writings are a homage to the unity of the European continent and build bridges between the worlds of Eastern and Western Europe, and America." (Michael Braun)
Publications in German (selection): Die Wiesen von Burgund (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2003), Mystik für Anfänger (Carl Hanser Verlag, 1997), Mystik für Anfänger (Carl Hanser Verlag ,1994)
Awards (selection): Kurt Tucholsky Prize, Stockholm (1985), Andrzej Kijowski Prize, Warsaw (1986), Prix de la Liberté, Paris (1987), Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation Prize, New York (1988), Nikolaus Lenau Prize for European Poetry (2000), Konrad Adenauer Foundation Prize for Literature (2002).