Bas Böttcher was born in Bremen in 1974 and was one of the main trailblazers of the Germany Poetry Slam scene, winning the first German Poetry Slam Championship in 1997. Böttcher’s poems start out as language games and cover all the possibilities of word and sound in a highly virtuoso way. His poems have even been included in school textbooks and important anthologies of German-language verse such as The New Conrady and Lyrikstimmen (Lyrical Voices). Böttcher is the inventor of the ‘text box’, a kind of aquarium for live performances, that has been shown in such venues as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the New National Gallery in Berlin as well as at book fairs world-wide from Peking to São Paulo. He has taught at the German Literature Archive in Marbach, at the Baden-Württemberg Cultural Academy and at the Goethe Institute, and has been a guest professor at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
Vorübergehende Schönheit (Voland & Quist 2012)
Neonomade (Voland & Quist 2009)
Die Poetry-Slam-Expedition: Bas Böttcher (Schroedel 2009)
Dies ist kein Konzert (Voland & Quist 2006)
Bleu Broode was born in Hamburg in 1989 and is one of those slam poets who have an immense amount of stage experience although they are still very young. He has won the Hessen, Saxony and German slam championships and has since been at home on stages all over Europe. With great variety and strong images he unfolds his view of things to his audiences. But his inexhaustible energy and full physical presence are not just restricted to the stage – on the football pitch he plays in the writers’ national team Autonama. He is shortly to set off to go to and fro between Panama and Columbia in an old steel sailing boat. His poetry, delivered in Platt German, is imbued with modern romanticism of seafaring and the tension between yearning for far-away places and homesickness.
Fußball ist unser Lieben: Neue Geschichten der deutschen Autorennationalmannschaft (Suhrkamp 2011)
Kleinstadtgeschichten (Lektora 2009)
Theresa Hahl, born in Heidelberg in 1989, has been making appearances as a slam poet since 2009, and gives writing workshops and is constantly looking for innovative ways of presenting the spoken word on the stage. Hahl is also the protagonist of the documentary film Dichter und Kämpfer about the German slam scene, which was premièred at the Berlinale in 2012. In that same year she was also involved as writer and performer in the multi-media Spoken Word stage play Alles ist Wunderland in the Casinotheater Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2009 she reached third place in the U2 section of the German-language Poetry Slam Championship, subsequently reaching the final in the Over-20s, and she is also the Hessen champion.
Ein Gedicht von mir. Lyrikerinnen und Lyriker der Gegenwart stellen sich vor (Reclam 2012)
Foto: Toni Hasselmann
Franziska Holzheimer, born in Lower Franconia in 1988, combines the sounds of words and instruments, be it with Sarangi accompaniment in India, with percussion instruments in Egypt or with well-known jazz musicians in the Hamburg Schauspielhaus. But she doesn’t necessarily need musical accompaniment, as her poems, written in German and English, have their own sound. Holzheimer has been a finalist in the German-language Slam Championships and played in ‘defence’ in the ‘Slam the World Cup’ tour during the 2011 Women’s World Cup. She has appeared at festivals and book fairs as well as on radio and TV, and she holds performance and poetry workshops for schoolchildren.
Foto: Uwe Lehmann
Frank Klötgen, born in Essen in 1968, is a slam poet, web writer and musician. For twenty-five years he has been writing the lyrics for the rock band Marilyn’s Army, and has sung on all their fifteen CDs to date. His poems are a spectacular synthesis of classical allusions with colloquial language, current affairs with familiar long-standing topics. In 1998 he was awarded the Pegasus 98 Prize by Die Zeit newspaper for his hyperfiction Aaleskorte der Ölig. With Wehwalt Koslovsky he is part of the successful poetry collective K.u.K. Klötgen also builds bibliophile constructions from his books, which he will be presenting at the book fair in Dubai this year. He lives and works in Berlin, where among other things he writes the Stadtkind blog for the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Spätwinterhitze (Voland & Quist 2004)
Will Kacheln (Voland & Quist 2007)
Der Fall Schelling (Voland & Quist 2010)
Mehr Kacheln! 50 Gedichte (2011)
Wehwalt Koslovsky, born in Düsseldorf in 1972, has also been a pioneer of the German Slam scene. He is known for his linguistically complex stage poetry with rhyme and metre achieved to the point of absolute perfection and, not just formally, measured against classical models. In 1998 he was German-language Poetry Slam champion in the Team category. He is one half of the stage duo K.u.K. together with Frank Klötgen, and he has toured the whole of Europe with the Poesie United poetry ensemble. Koslovsky has been a recipient of the Amsterdam Fellowship of the City of Düsseldorf and the City Scribe in Ranis, Thuringia. He also teaches and organises poetry slam events.
Anthrax für Überlingen, CD (Edition Sprechstation 2004)
Slämmology, CD (Verlag für Gesunden Menschenversand 2001)
Lars Ruppel (born in Gambach in 1985) draws his audience into his poems with a disarming charm and unique stage presence that does not let them go until the very last word is fading away. In 2007 he was the German Poetry Slam champion with his poetry boygroup Smaat. Apart from his poetry he is known as a sizzling show host, and he heads the ‘Weckworte Deutschland’ project founded in the USA as ‘Alzpoetry’ by writer Gary Glazner, and the idea of which is to gain emotional access to dementia sufferers through performances of classical verse.
Schweinchen (Lektora 2009)
Brille (Lektora 2009)
Limo (Lektora 2010)
With Temye Tesfu there are echoes of Allen Ginsberg and Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, but above all he has a voice, such as we haven’t yet heard: in love with language and rhythmically overflowing, but image-sharp. Tesfu knows where he wants to go. With his spoken word ensemble Allen Earnstyzz he creates highly dynamic stage pieces: mosaics of rhyme-staccato with almost musical interludes and sprinklings of humour. Allen Earnstyzz were, among other things, guests in Chicago in order to work up a bilingual performance with the Speak Easy Ensemble. Together with the illustrator Theresa Hahl and the illustrator Mehrdad Zaeri, Tesfu developed the live radio play “Die Tonbänder des Ignaz Euling”, which sketches out the panorama of a village in blank verse. He is the two-time runner-up in the German-speaking Poetry Slam (team category), works as a workshop facilitator and organizes slam evenings.