Preview of the 21st poesiefestival berlin
The online programme for Planet P is coming along nicely

Preparations for the poesiefestival berlin (5–11 June) are in full swing. For the first time in its 21-year history, it is taking place as a purely online festival. The festival site will be going live from the end of May.

The festival is presenting around 150 writers from 29 countries, who will be appearing in more than 100 online events including talks, readings, slams, interviews and workshops. A huge challenge! But we will definitely be keeping some familiar formats such as Weltklang – Night of Poetry (with readings by nine poets from nine countries) and the translation workshop VERSschmuggel/reVERSible. These are currently being put together all over the world in Zoom conferences, videos, audio recordings, etc., with post-production in Berlin to make them Internet-compatible. They will be joined by live formats during the festival itself.

The Poetry Talks featuring poets from the Weltklang programme will be uploaded as text interviews. Poets’ Corner is even getting a change of name: the annual series that kicks off the festival cannot go out into the streets of the Berlin neighbourhoods this year, so instead it will be coming from the homes of Berlin poets, and Poets’ Home (Corners) will feature readings and home stories reflecting the “corontine”. Even the Poetry Market that takes place on the Sunday during the festival will be available online, with publishers and magazines presenting their current poetry output in blogs and vlogs. Poetic Education offers further training for poetry disseminators and workshops on sound poetry and Poetry Yoga, with closing readings in which the next generation of poets present their work.

Preview of the online programme #planetpgoeson



FRI 29 May–THU 4 June | Videos | Premières daily at 6 pm

Poets’ Home (Corners)

Poets’ Home (Corners) covers the city with poems. 33 Berlin poets and performers feature in short videos from the Poets’ Home.


FRI 5 June | Video | Première 7.30 pm


With: Mircea Cărtărescu (ROU), Michael Donhauser (AUT), Athena Farrokhzad (IRN/SWE) with musician Christian Kesten (DEU), Yanko González (CHL), Luljeta Lleshanaku (ALB), Koleka Putuma (ZAF) with musician Tracy September (ZAF/CHE), Ariana Reines (USA), Katharina Schultens (DEU), Yi Won (KOR)

Presenter: Insa Wilke, literary critic


Before and during the festival | available for reading in the media library



The heart can’t be freely bent like the knee

Interview with Daniela Seel, writer and publisher


I can see more colours than other people

Interview with his translator Ernest Wichner


What. Now What?         

Interview with Léonce W. Lupette, writer and translator


Small zig-zags and the feel for completeness

Interview with her translator Andrea Grill


With an image of me in mind

Interview with Rike Bolte, literary scholar and translator


I click constantly on the world

Interview with her translator Simone Kornappel



SAT 6 June | pre-produced video reading & live chat | Première 5.30 pm


With Manal Al Sheikh (IRQ, currently in Stavanger), Nada Al-Khawwam, (IRQ, currently in Berlin) and Faraj Bayakdar (SYR, currently in Stockholm)

Presenters: Christian Filips / Kenan Khadaj

ICORN, the International Cities of Refuge, had planned a General Assembly of artists, writers and journalists in Berlin in June 2020. Unfortunately, because of the current restrictions on freedom of assembly, this meeting will not now be taking place. But the poesiefestival berlin will be seeing to it that the borders of language as well as of thought are kept open regardless and is bringing together three of the participants in an online format.


SAT 6 June | Video readings | Première 7.30 pm


Canadian Poetry / Poésie du Québec / Dichtung aus Deutschland

With poets Martine Audet (CAN), Monique Deland (CAN), Adam Dickinson (CAN), Daniel Falb (DEU), François Guerrette (CAN), Nancy Hünger (DEU), Aisha Sasha John (CAN), Maren Kames (DEU), Natasha Kanapé Fontaine (CAN), Canisia Lubrin (CAN), Tristan Malavoy (CAN), Pierre Nepveu (CAN), Kerstin Preiwuß (DEU), Sandra Ridley (CAN), Lisa Robertson (CAN), Armand Garnet Ruffo (CAN), Levin Westermann (DEU), Ron Winkler (DEU)

Presenter: Karolina Golimowska, literary scholar and translator



SUN 7 June | Online discussion | Première 5.30 pm

Digital Revolution and Cultural Memory

Aleida Assmann, English literature scholar, literary and cultural scholar (DEU); Mercedes Bunz, media scholar (DEU/UK)

Presenter: Asmus Trautsch, philosopher and poet



SUN 7 June | Première 7.30 pm

Anne Carson –  Dreizehn Blickwinkel auf einige Worte

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Short Talk

The Lecture will be given in English, with German translations available. Deutschlandfunk Kultur will be broadcasting the Lecture on 14 June at 10.03 pm.

Before and during the festival | available for reading in the media library



Undo The Latches of Ordinary Understanding

Interview with Hans Jürgen Balmes, Programme Director International Literature, S. Fischer Verlag


MON 8 June | Video readings/performances | Première 7.30 pm


Europe’s Black Diaspora

With poets: Simone Atangana Bekono (NLD), Kayo Chingonyi (UK/ZMB), Farhiya Feysal (SWE/SOM), Steve Mekoudja (DEU/CMR), Fiston Mwanza Mujila (AUT/COD)

Music by: Patrick Dunst and Christian Pollheimer (AUT), Steve Mekoudja (DEU/CMR)

Curated and presented by: Fiston Mwanza Mujila, writer (AUT/COD)


MON 8 June | Short film | Première 9.30 pm


By and with Daniel Bayerstorfer (DEU) translator/writer, Victoria Lorini (ITA) translator/writer, Theresa Prammer (DEU) translator/writer, Moritz Rauchhaus (DEU) translator/writer, Tobias Roth (DEU) translator/writer, Andrea Schmidt (DEU) typographer, Asmus Trautsch (DEU) translator/writer

When the statue of Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini was unveiled in Florence in 1554, a number of poets affixed sonnets in praise of the artist to its pedestal. Six translators have now for the first time translated these texts into German. The film tells of Cellini and the statue of Perseus and provides an insight into the translation workshop. The statue and the sonnets are given visual presentation by the typographer Andrea Schmidt.

The Poets’ Evening on the film is planned for the Autumn.


TUE 9 June | Demo, reading, video | Première 6.30 pm

Politically programmed

With Nick Thurston (UK) writer/artist, Kathrin Passig (DEU) writer/essayist/translator, Álvaro Seiça (PRT/NOR) writer/literary scholar

Presenter: Hannes Bajohr, writer and literary scholar

The works being presented this evening are born-digital. Nick Thurston presents poems that have been crowd-sourced and outsourced using “artificial artificial intelligence” and machine translation. Kathrin Passig generates an unpolitical politics cut from plenary minutes of the German Bundestag and Álvaro Seiça lets news streams from social media meet present-day refugee streams.

Languages: English, Portuguese, German with subtitles


TUE 9 June | Performance | Première 8.30 pm


With Caroline Bergvall (UK) writer and Jamie Hamilton (UK) composer

Caroline Bergvall (born in Hamburg in 1962) is a politically thinking and acting poet in the emphatic sense. This is demonstrated in her new multi-lingual work Sonic Atlas, which reacts to the refugee crisis and modern extremism.

Sonic Atlas has been created in collaboration with the well-known British composer Gavin Bryars and seven UK poets who joined Caroline Bergvall in writing poems on the subject of ‘Refuge’. An adapted version of Sonic Atlas for two performers is being specially presented for this evening.


WED 10 June | Video presentations and mail discussion | Première 6.30 pm


With Antoine Cassar (MLT) writer and activist, Kadhem Khanyar (IRQ) writer and performer, Bernadette La Hengst (DEU) musician and theatre artist, Franck Leibovici (FRA) writer and fine artist, Maud Vanhauwaert (BEL), writer and performer, Sandra Hetzl (DEU) translator

More and more poets are intervening in processes of political negotiation. Franck Leibovici has advised the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Den Haag, to line up legal materials with poetic strategies. Kadhem Khanyar was a co-founder in Iraq of the Culture Militia collective which does poetry performances at sites of violence and terror. Antoine Cassar has since 2009 been distributing the long poem ‘Passaport’, which is intended to serve as an anti-passport and replacement passport. Maud Vanhauwaert built a “Toren van Babel” in Antwerp as an open meeting place for multi-lingual poetry and discussion.



WED 10 June | Video | Première 8.30 pm


With Deborah Emmanuel (SGP) poet and singer, Yunus (DEU) rapper with viola, Dean Bowen (NDL) Spoken Word artist, Julian Heun (DEU) slam poet

Presenter: Julian Heun


THU 11 June | Video | Première 6.30 pm


“All political poetry is bad – all poetry is political”

With poets Dean Bowen (NDL), Frank Keizer (NDL), Lea Schneider (DEU), John Kinsella (AUS) and curator Bas Kwakman (NDL)

Images by Michael Tedja (NDL), Jonas Staal (NDL) and Peter Koole (NDL), Cecilia Vicuña (CHL)

After decades in which poets have turned away from political reality, a new energy has built up in the present – young poets take positions, using poetry to inspire, motivate and even mobilise people. What gives poetry its social power?

Languages:  English with German subtitles, German


THU 11 June | Video reading / concert | Première 8.30 pm


With Artur Becker (DEU) poet and author, Ulrich Beckerhoff (DEU) jazz musician, Maria Pia de Vito (ITA) singer and pianist, Tord Gustavsen (NOR) jazz pianist, Kryzysztof “Dźawor” Jaworski (POL) Blues-Rock guitarist, Michele Rabbia (ITA) percussionist and drummer, Simin Tander (DEU) singer

Presenter: Matthias Wegner, Deutschlandradio

Curator: Ulrich Beckerhoff

In their videos produced specially for the poesiefestival the artists set to music and recite texts of their own and by others as various as their music, from Plath to Rilke, from Rumi to Norwegian Christian hymns transforming themselves into melodious Sufi texts, to jazzy Polish-German Blues-Rock poetry to settings to music of Italian poems by Sara Ventroni and Gabriele Frasca.

The texts are read and recited in English, German, Pashtu/Afghaani and Italian. German translations are available.




FURTHER TRAINING for teachers and poetry disseminators

FRI 5 June | Webinar | 9.30 am

“look, here comes the poison queen! her children carry/swarms of gnats in their hearts, how does she do it? that’s art!”

With Birgit Kreipe (DEU) author, Claudia Maaß (DEU) educationalist and teacher, Dorothée Billard (DEU) graphic artist

Generate enthusiasm for poetry! But how? This further training webinar offers poetry disseminators and teachers of pupils in years 8–12 the opportunity actively to familiarise themselves with the analysis and dissemination of contemporary poetry with skilled support using current processes. The focus this year is on the work of poet Birgit Kreipe.

Registration at mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org


SUN 7 June | Video tutorial for ages 18–99 | Première 2 pm

SOUND POETRY with Josepha Conrad

Setting poems to music with sounds. Tutorial for music and poetry, taught by musician and songwriter Josepha Conrad.

Duration: 15 min.


Anthology on poesiefestival.org


With Josephine Baetz, Isabelle Decher, Benedikt Gotzens, Edna Grewers, Anna Hattler, Carmine Jako, Kristina Janackova, Cheikh Anta Belle Kum, Kierán Meinhardt, Lisa Starogadzki, Friedrich Schulze, Alice Veil


Video readings | Première 3.30 pm


With Leander Beil, Sarah Borowik-Frank, Katia Sophia Ditzler, Anna Fedorova, Clara Heinrich, Johanna Hühn, Lisa James, Elena Kaufmann, Laura Kunz, Patty Nash, Şafak Sarıçiçek, Ole Schmitter, Mae Schwinghammer, Carlo Spiller, Sophie Stroux, Lilith Tiefenbacher, Lea Wahode

SUN 7 June | Video tutorial for ages 18–99 | Première 5 pm

PHYSICAL POETRY with Shannon Sullivan

Breath. Movement. Sound. Language. Tutorial on poetry as whole body experience. With text extracts by Anne Carson, taught by poet and physical poetry teacher Shannon Sullivan.

Duration: 15 min.


TUE 9 June | Video workshop for ages 18–99 | Première 6 pm

Master Class on Queer Poetry with Crauss

e-teaching with video workshop, taught by poet and poetry teacher Crauss

Duration: 2 hrs.


WED 10 June | Video workshop for primary school children | time tba

Colours in the Poem with Tanja Dückers

e-teaching with video workshop, taught by poet and poetry teacher Tanja Dückers

The poesiefestival berlin has been taking place since 2000 and is the biggest of its kind in Europe. As well as the book, poetry has long sought other forms of presentation and experiments with theatre, performance, music, dance, film and digital media. The festival enables poetry to be experienced in all its diversity of forms and welcomes up to 13,000 visitors each year.

The 21st poesiefestival berlin is a project by the Haus für Poesie. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund and with the kind support of the Federal Foreign Office, the Government of Canada, the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec, the Embassy of Canada, the Vertretung der Regierung von Québec in Deutschland, as well as Federal Agency for Civic Education. Presented by Der Freitag, taz, BÜCHERmagazin, tip Berlin, rbbKultur, ASK HELMUT, iHeartBerlin and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.


FRI 5 – THU 11 June 2020

21st poesiefestival berlin: Planet P

Online Edition #planetpgoeson

Preview of the 21st poesiefestival berlin <br> The online programme for Planet P is coming along nicely