Weltklang - Night of Poetry

John Burnside

John Burnside c_Lucas Burnside

John Burnside (born in 1955 in Dunfermline, Scotland) – his rich. award/winning work covers books of poetry, novels and autobiographical prose. He studied languages in Cambridge and has lived in Fife in Scotland since 1996.
Burnside stands beside Seamus Heaney as one of the major writers in English of the last 50 years. In his texts he captures in an unique way “the other life of things”. What he says about the song of the blackbird applies too to his poems, “they are more yolk than painted shell, more fruit than stone.” The “great spectacle of the real” is presented in them in powerful language. They follow the flight of spotted owls for beetles in hedgerows, describe the metallic smoke-grey of the sky and the membranes of stranded jellyfish. They are texts rooted in the world which feel committed to the here and now with their bee myths and hunting scenes. Not a single detail escapes the attention of this poet, be it raindrops on the window of a fish shop or the freckles on the back of a squinting plaice.

Publications (poetry collections):
The Hoop (Carcanet, 1988)
Common Knowledge (Secker and Warburg, London, 1991)
Feast Days (Secker and Warburg, London, 1992)
The Myth of the Twin (Jonathan Cape, London, 1994)
Swimming in the Flood (Jonathan Cape, London, 1995)
Penguin Modern Poets (Penguin, 1996)
A Normal Skin (Jonathan Cape, London, 1997)
The Asylum Dance (Jonathan Cape, London, 2000)
The Light Trap (Jonathan Cape, London, 2002)
A Poet's Polemic (2003)
The Good Neighbour (Jonathan Cape, 2005)
Selected Poems (Jonathan Cape, 2006)
Gift Songs (Jonathan Cape, 2007)
The Hunt in the Forest (Jonathan Cape, 2009)
Black Cat Bone (Jonathan Cape, 2011)
All one breath (Jonathan Cape 2014)

Yasuki Fukushima

Yasuki Fukushima c_Tamiko Nishimura

Yasuki Fukushima (born in 1943 in Tokyo) is one of the most expressive of contemporary Japanese poets. He writes in the form of the tanka, a 1300 year-old form strictly comprising 31 syllables. Fukushima played a leading role in the modernisation of the tanka in the 1960s, when he began writing about current themes such as the student movement in which he was involved.
Fukushima’s social commitment and experimental performance forms both date from the 1960s and 70s. He performs what he calls his ‘zekkyō tanka’ (screaming tankas) to musical accompaniment, loudly and passionately. In his performances he makes spontaneous changes in the sequence of the texts, creating ever new connections of sound, motif or emotion between individual poems. Fukushima also places his poems in dialogue with texts by other writers, blurring in performance the boundaries between art genres, and between what is his and not his. His performances are like jazz: a free interplay between themes, voices and variations. No two performances of his are ever alike.
Yasuki Fukushima has written thousands of tankas and published more than 39 books of verse as well as essays, CDs and DVDs. Aside from his work as an artist, Fukushima has been a Buddhist priest in Tokyo for many decades.

Publications (a selection):
Zenkashū (Works in 3 volumes). Kawade Shobō Shinsha 1999
Tanka screaming (Japanese). Bird's shadow. 2005

Arnon Grünberg

Arnon Grünberg c_Keukelaar

Arnon Grunberg (born in 1971 in Amsterdam), novelist, playwright and essayist, has been feted internationally since the publication in 1997 of his debut novel Blue Mondays. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and earned him many prizes, including the renowned Dutch AKO Literature Prize twice. Under the pseudonym Marek van der Jagt Grunberg wrote the novels Amour Fou and Monogaam. He is also a blogger and writer of a daily column for the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant. Grunberg has lived and worked in New York since 1995.


Publications (a selection):
Onze oom (Our Uncle) (2008)
Huid en Haar (Tooth and Nail) (2010)
De man zonder ziekte (The Man Without Illness) (2012)

Mila Haugová

Mila Haugová c_David Koronczy

Mila Haugová (born in 1942 in Budapest) lives in Bratislava and Levice. her poetry is always allusive. Nature, eroticism, memory and loss are inseparably interwoven in poems which are like “semi- / transparent membranes”, fragile and full of power at the same time. Between the lines of her poems lurk references to such writers as Ingeborg Bachmann, Sylvia Plath, Friederike Mayröcker, Paul Celan and Georg Trakl.
The daughter of a Hungarian mother and a Slovakian father, Haugová grew up bilingual and was one of the first women writers to gain attention with feminist poems in the Czechoslovakia of the 1980s.
Haugová’s father was an agronomist and was jailed as a class enemy, which meant that Haugová was not permitted to study Slovakian Language and Literature and German. Instead she studied Agriculture from 1959 to 1964, subsequently working as an agronomist, then as a teacher. In 1968 she emigrated to Canada, returning after one year. From 1986 to 1996 Haugová worked in the editorial section of the literary journal Romboid.
Haugová started writing poems in the early 1970s and published the first of them in 1980 under the pseudonym Mila Srnková. She sees her collection Premenlivý povrch (Changeable Surface, 1983) as her real debut. She achieved a breakthrough with Èisté dni (Pure Days, 1990). Since then she has published nearly twenty collections of verse in Slovakian which have been translated into English, French, Polish, Russian and German and translations from German, English and Hungarian.

Publications (in English):
Scent of the Unseen, translated by James and Vera Sutherland-Smith, with an introduction by Fiona Sampson (Arc Publications, 2003)

Dagmara Kraus

Dagmara Kraus c_Katja Zimmermann

Dagmara Kraus (born in 1981 in Wrocław, Poland) writes poems which have been described by Michael Lentz as a “joyful jumble of words combining language fetishes, highly-charged words and elements borrowed from far-flung archives of terms and names”. In her texts Kraus draws on the rich stock of ancient mourning culture and modern planned languages. She makes homophonic collaged translations from an old French textbook and makes artfully subversive anagrams from poems by Christine Lavant and Stefan George. What emerges is a “nonsense” of such linguistic tenderness that it bewitches the reader, who witnesses the way the cuckoo sow falls beneath the slipper, how the buttercup is dipped in the gunk and death dressed in a spore-cowl loses its laxative cola.
Dagmara Kraus studied Comparative Literature and Art History in Leipzig, Berlin and Paris and Literary Writing at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig. Since 2008 she has been publishing poems in magazines and anthologies including Edit, Neue Rundschau, Jahrbuch der Lyrik and in freie radikale lyric (luxbooks 2010), and later translations from Polish as well. Her debut collection kummerang was published by kookbooks in 2012.

wehbuch (undichte prosage). roughbooks 2016
mot schlich mit geknickter schnute. kookbooks 2015
revolvers für flubis. SuKulKTuR 2013
kleine grammaturgie. roughbooks 2013
kummerang. kookbooks 2012

Prizes (a selection):
Promotion Prize for the Heimrad Bäcker Prize 2016
Promotion Prize for Literature of the Society for the Promotion of Westphalian Cultural Work 2010
Prosanova Audience Prize 2008

James Noël

James Noël c_Julien Guigot

James Noël (born in 1978 in Hinche, Haiti) is a poet and singer and a phenomenon on stage. He makes poetic arousal into the highest form of commitment. With more than a dozen books published, Noël is one of Haiti’s most important contemporary writers.
His poems are full of stunning images – the sun has a hellish heart, the sky is a painted shell, the sea the best of all films, and life is “nailed to the masts / with the thick tentacle cables / of darkness”. Noël says that he writes to free his body from all the words so as to stride forward lighter than paper in time and history.
In his monumental work-in-progress The Migration of Walls, Noël cross-fades politics and metaphor, movements of flight and escape with the breaking away of secure foundations in a modern age in flux and the erection of new walls. It is a work that is poetically and politically highly topical.
Noël’s texts have been set to music by such artists as Wooly Saint-Jean, James Germain, Robenson Auguste and Tamara Suffren. They were performed by Pierre Brisson and the famous singer and entertainer Arthur H. in a show entitled L’Or Noir (Black Gold). Noël has also edited an anthology of contemporary Haitian verse with 73 poets.
Beside many other awards, James Noël has been a fellow of the Villa Medici in Rome. James Noël lives in Port-au-Prince.

Publications (a selection):

in French:
Cheval de feu. Le Temps des cerises 2014
Empreintes (in collaboration with Fanette Mellier and Émilie Lamy). Imprimerie nationale 2014
Le Pyromane adolescent. Éditions Mémoire d'encrier 2013
La Migration des murs (in collaboration with Fanette Mellier).Villa Médicis 2012
Kana Sutra. Éditions Vents d'Ailleurs 2011
Le Sang visible du vitrier. Èditions Vents d'ailleurs 2009
Poèmes à double tranchant. Èditions Farandole 2005

in Creole:
Kabòn 47. Éditions L'action sociale, Port-au-Prince2009
Bon Nouvel. Éditions L'action sociale, Port-au-Prince2009

Lauréat du Prix Grahn 2014
Lauréat de l'Académie de France à Rome, Villa Médicis 2012-2013
Lauréat de la bourse du Centre national du livre
Lauréat de la bourse du Conseil régional d'Île-de-France
Prix Fètkann, Mémoire du Sud, Mémoire de l'Humanité, remis au Café de Flore, 2008
Mention spéciale du jury, Prix de Poésie des Écrivains Français d'Amérique

M. NourbeSe Philip

M. NourbeSe Philip c_privat

M. NourbeSe Philip (born in 1947 in Moriah, Trinidad and Tobago) is a lawyer and writer. She writes poems, novels, stage plays and essays which are repeatedly critical of racism and sexism. She became well-known for her third collection of poems She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks, which was acclaimed by critics as a “linguistic and feminist Odyssey” (Phil Hall, Books in Canada). Her book Zong! (2008) is a masterpiece of Appropriation Art, a long poem using just the words from an 18th Century legal report dealing with the violent deaths of 150 Africans on a slave ship. Philip dissects the text, compresses it and erases certain words. What emerges from this is a language that grunts and groans and stutters. The musical composition principle that underlies Zong! oscillates between the polyphonous structure of a fugue and the expressive rhythms of the Afro-American dance Krumping. M. NourbeSe Philip lives and works in Canada.

Publications (a selection):
Zong!. Wesleyan Poetry 2008
She Tries Her Tongue. Her Silence Softly Breaks. Gynergy Books/Ragweed Pr 1989
Salmon Courage. Williams Wallace Inc. 1983
Thorns. Williams Wallace Inc. 1980

Sergio Raimondi

Sergio Raimondi c_Timo Berger

Sergio Raimondi (born in 1968 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina) is the poet of the globalised world and at the same time its radical critic. His poetry is like a “muscle that can abstract“. In just a few lines he is able to break down the fundamental questions of political economy to a slice of bread. His texts get their power from their twisting syntax which steers with unassailable logic towards an unfathomable clincher.

Raimondi revitalised the poetry of his country with his debut collection Poesía Civil, in 2001. It is a book “that is absolutely in contact with reality but at the same time washes clean the language of our age” (Arturo Carrera). Raimondi’s second book, Para un diccionario crítico de la lengua (Towards a critical dictionary of language) is an ongoing work-in progress (parts of which were published in German translation in 2012) and at the same time an encyclopaedic undertaking. The whole world is contained in this book, whether the use of three-times enriched uranium or the effect of heavy water factories on the nest-building of little blue herons.

Poesía civil, Vox 2001

Charlotte Van den Broeck

Charlotte Van den Broeck c_Koen Broos

Charlotte Van den Broeck (born in 1991 in Turnhout, Belgium) is a Flemish poet with her roots in Spoken Word. Her two collections of poems have made her a shooting star of poetry in her home country. Her collection Kameleon earned her the Flemish Herman de Coninck Prize in 2015 for the Best Debut of the Year.
Charlotte Van den Broeck speaks in her poems about familiar domestic scenes, things that fall off edges, Hello Kitty bras and afternoons in relief lettering, and all with a “reluctant ease, / As though everything were just a marble run“, as she writes in her poem ‘Växjö’. Her joint performance with Arnon Grunberg for the opening of the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair gained her a lot of attention. They performed the text Ohne Nabel, composed as a dialogue, in which they swap lines about homeland, origins and identity.

Nachtroer. Singel Uitgeverijen 2016
Kameleon. Singel Uitgeverijen 2015

Jan Wagner

Jan Wagner c_gezett

Jan Wagner (born in 1971 in Hamburg) combines the highest mastery of form with surprising poetic images without ever being traditionalistic. Hardly any other poet of his generation plays in such a virtuoso way and with such an unmistakeable tone with the poetic tradition from ancient times to the day before yesterday. In his poems the simple radish, midges with the bodies of sphinxes and a biker in the vastness of Montana all make an appearance.
Wagner studied English in Hamburg, and later at Trinity College in Dublin, before moving in 1995 to Berlin, where he has lived ever since. Parallel to his studies he devoted himself heavily to the working on the international literature box Die Außenseite des Elements, which he edited with Thomas Girst until 2003. Together with Björn Kuhligk he edited the anthology Lyrik von Jetzt. 74 Stimmen in 2003, which became the starting point for a flood of influential collections by young German-speaking poets.
As well as writing and publishing his own poems, essays and criticism, Wagner has been translating English poetry since the 1990s, most notably the work of Charles Simic, James Tate, Matthew Sweeney, Simon Armitage, Robin Robertson, Michael Hamburger and Dan Chiasson. Wagner’s poems have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry, the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts and the Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature. Among many other awards, in 2015 Wagner was the first poet ever to win the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair.

Publications (a selection):
Der verschlossene Raum. Beiläufige Prosa. Hanser Berlin, Berlin 2017
Selbstporträt mit Bienenschwarm. Ausgewählte Gedichte 2001–2015. Hanser Berlin, Berlin 2016
Regentonnenvariationen. Gedichte. Hanser Berlin, Berlin 2014
Die Sandale des Propheten. Essays. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2011
Australien. Gedichte. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2010
Achtzehn Pasteten. Gedichte. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2007
Guerickes Sperling. Gedichte. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2004
Probebohrung im Himmel. Gedichte, Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2001

Prizes (a selection):
Samuel Bogumil Linde Prize (jointly with Kazimierz Brakoniecki) 2016
2015 Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in the category Fiction and Poetry for Regentonnenvariationen
2015 Mörike Prize of the Town of Fellbach
Fellowship of the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo 2011
Friedrich Hölderlin Prize of the University and the University City of Tübingen 2011
Arno Reinfrank Literature Prize 2006
Ernst Meister Prize 2005
Anna Seghers Prize 2004