Poets and their Bands

Søren Ulrik Thomsen

Søren Ulrik Thomsen © Robin Skjoldborg

Søren Ulrik Thomsen (b. 1956 in Kalundborg), is one of Denmark’s most popular poets and spent his childhood on the Stevns Peninsula south of Copenhagen. In 1972 he moved to the Danish capital. His debut collection was City Slang (1981). This has been followed by seven further volumes of verse and several collections of essays, and a best-of book, Samlede Thomsen (2014).
Thomsen is a master of the small gesture. With apparently effortless casualness he makes everyday objects collide with theories – in a diction that merges laconic expression with pathos and humour. Love, dying, mourning and happiness are the great questions that light up Thomsen’s poems like spaceships on a dusty office desk.
To accompany Rystet spejl (Shaken Mirror; 2011) an album was released in 2013 recorded by him with six young musicians from Det Glemte Kvarter. Their joint range extends from almost transparent sound landscapes to full-blown poetry-funk, a widely ranging synthesis of words and music between jazz, pop and avant-garde.
Thomsen is also a translator. Together with Jørgen Mejer he has translated Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (1990) and Euripides’ The Phoenician Women (1998) into Danish. Søren Ulrik Thomsen has been awarded many Danish literary prizes and fellowships and has been a member of the Danish Academy since 1995.

Publications (selection):

in Danish:

City Slang. 1981
Ukendt under den samme måne. 1982
Nye digte. 1987
Hjemfalden. 1991
Det skabtes vaklen. 1996
Det værste og det bedste, 2002 (illustrated by Ib Spang-Olsen)
Rystet Spejl, 2011
Samlede Thomsen, 2014

in English:
Selected Poems, Meeting Eyes Bindery, 1999

Music (selection):
POWER. Det Glemte Kvarter. Oplæsning Thomsen, Sony Music 2016

Michael Lentz

Michael Lentz © gezett

Michael Lentz (b. 1964 in Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia) studied German Literature, History and Philosophy and gained his doctorate with a thesis on ‘Media Aspects of Sound Poetry and Music after 1945’. He is known not just as a poet, novelist, literary critic and editor, but also as a performer with wild verbal dexterity. Before winning the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in Klagenfurt in 2001 with a brilliant performance of his text Muttersterben (Mother’s Death), which made him known to a wider audience, he had already published a volume of prose, ODER, and a book of poems Neue Anagramme (New Anagrams). His first novel, Liebeserklärung (Declaration of Love), was published in 2003 and was enthusiastically received by critics. In the same year he also published his book of poems Aller Ding (Of All Thing). In 2007 followed the novel Pazifik Exil (Pacific Exile), in which Lentz traces the exile experiences on the American West Coast of such writers and artists as Bertolt Brecht, Franz Werfel, Lion Feuchtwanger, Arnold Schönberg and Thomas and Heinrich Mann. In 2010 Offene Unruh. 100 Liebesgedichte (Open Unrest. 100 Love Poems) was published.
As well as all this Michael Lentz has also found time to write radio plays and stage plays, football columns, reviews and essays. He is Professor for Literary Writing at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig and President of the Free Academy of the Arts in Leipzig, and since 2014 has also been a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt.
Lentz lives in Leipzig and Berlin.

Book publications (selection):
Zur Kenntnisnahme. Poetry and prose, 1985
Neue Anagramme. Poetry,1998
Oder. Prose,1998
Ende gut. Sprechakte (book with CD), 2001
Muttersterben. Prose, 2001 (also as audio book)
Liebeserklärung. Novel, 2003 (also as audio book)
Aller Ding. Poetry, 2003
Pazifik Exil. Novel, 2007
Offene Unruh. 100 Liebesgedichte, S. Fischer Verlag 2010

Music (selection):
Sprechakte X/TREME, 2005 (CD)
Boxgesang, with Uli Winters, UA: Musica Viva 2008 (also as DVD)
fünfleute: Immer Krisensitzung, 2011 (CD)