The Festival website of the 22nd poesiefestival berlin with the complete programme is online now at poesiefestival.org. From 11 to 17 June 2021 the Festival, under the heading Da liegt Europa/There Lies Europe is presenting 23 digital readings, talks, concerts and workshops as well as 70 interviews, essays and anthology contributions in the form of text – 150 artists from around the world are taking part. The events are accessible via a paywall: tickets at 3€ as well as festival passes for 19€, which give access to all productions, are available from today at poesiefestival.org/en/tickets and are valid for two months from the start of the festival.
The Festival will open online on 11 June at 8 pm with Weltklang – Night of Poetry. The nine writers taking part, Ichiko Aoba (Japan), Ben Lerner (USA), Hannah Lowe (United Kingdom), Valzhyna Mort (Belarus), Chus Pato (Galicia/Spain), Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Netherlands), Marko Tomaš (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Peter Waterhouse (Austria) and Judith Zander (Germany), will be demonstrating the wealth of contemporary poetry, its diversity of content and the wide range of its approaches and styles. The online production is edited together from recordings of the authors and elaborately post-produced. German translations will be provided as subtitles; many of the poems have been translated into German for the first time for Weltklang. The literary critic Christian Metz will be hosting the evening. In addition, written Poetry Talks with Ichiko Aoba, Ben Lerner, Hannah Lowe, Valzhyna Mort, Chus Pato, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and Marko Tomaš in the original language and German translation will also be posted on poesiefestival.org.
These are the writers who will be opening the 22nd poesiefestival berlin:
Ichiko Aoba was born in Japan in 1990 and is a Japanese singer-songwriter, installation artist and producer of theatre music. She writes a kind of Fantasy Folk: ethereal, spartan and intimate. She often gets the inspiration for her complex, image-rich lyrics from the out-of-body experiences in her dreams. Her latest album, Windswept Adan, is, as she herself says, “a soundtrack for a fictitious film”.
Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, USA, in 1979 and became world-famous as a poet for three collections published in quick succession in the Naughties. His poems are unstable structures that intrude into the areas of aeronautics and the sub-atomic. Tech-speak and sociolects feed endlessly into the typical Lerner sound until texts are created on the paper that are as artistic and surprising as high-voltage discharges in insulating material. “This is poetry created from poetry, audaciously written down by an unleashed mind.” (C.D. Wright).
Hannah Lowe was born in Ilford, UK in 1975. She has published two collections of poems, “Chick” and “Chan”. A third, “The Kids”, is forthcoming this autumn. In her work Lowe immerses herself in the world of London jazz clubs and gambling dens. She writes about the legendary magician Chan Canasta, the alto saxophonist Joe Harriott and her Chinese-Jamaican father, who arrived in Liverpool from Kingston in the Forties and supported his family as a professional gambler.
Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk in 1981 and lives in the USA. Her selected volume, “Factory of Tears” was the first Belarusian-English dual-language book ever. The great Polish poet Adam Zagajewski has written about Mort’s work, “These poems are not just moving, but perform the most elementary work of human language. They experience wretchedness, barbarism and unfeelingness at the level of a universal idiom of wisdom and grace.”
Chus Pato was born in Ourense, Galicia, in 1955. Hers is one of the most representative voices in contemporary Galician poetry. Her work goes beyond any traditional concept of poetry. She uses the most different sorts of text to integrate a great many voices – historical as well as fictitious – into her writing. With each one of her books Pato recasts what we think about the possibilities of poetic texts – about words, bodies, the political and literary space and about the construction of ourselves as individual, community, nation, world.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld was born in Nieuwendijk, the Netherlands, in 1991. Even before gaining world fame with the novel “The Discomfort of Evening” (translated by Michele Hutchison, Faber & Faber, 2020), Rijneveld became known for two collections of poetry. Rijneveld will be reading a selection from these collections. Poems about growing up and the ubiquity of death, about the puzzle of the multisexual snail, about being awry in the world and the urgent recommendation never to blow on the gossamer wings of an African death’s head hawk moth.
Marko Tomaš was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1978 and is one of the best-known poets of the Western Balkan region. His highly political verse, which frequently clothes its sensibility in flippant gestures, has been compared to that of the young Leonard Cohen. In 2020 his novel “Nemoj me buditi” was one of the best-selling books in Croatia. His work is awaiting discovery in German and English.
Peter Waterhouse was born in Berlin in 1956. In his writing, he undertakes nothing less than the attempt at Romantic re-poeticising of the world. For Weltklang he is reading two longer poems. “Memorial” retells the novel “David Copperfield” from the margins by placing an incidental character, the house guest of David‘s aunt, centre stage. “Geht nicht mit dem Wassermann” makes artful play with motifs from Goethe’s forest and water drama “Die Fischerin”.
Judith Zander was born in Anklam in 1980. Her language is allusive and interspersed with particles from pop music and Mecklenburg Low German. In her first collection of poems, “oder tau” she sketches a rural linguistic world of village life, from blood soup to cuckoo spit to the “beer can foothills” at the edge of the village. Her second collection, “manual numerale” seduces the reader along “sneaked-out paths” into an urban world of relaxed March night things. For Weltklang, Zander is reading previously unpublished poems.
FRI 11 June – THU 17 June 2021
22nd poesiefestival berlin
Tickets: 3€, Festival Pass: 19€
The prices for Poetic Education may vary.
Free tickets are available upon request for representatives of the press.
Complete programme and advance ticket sales at poesiefestival.org
Every summer, Berlin is transformed for ten days into a stronghold of poetry. 150 poets from around the world come to the poesiefestival berlin and present current trends in contemporary poetic art. The Festival enables poetry to be experienced in all its diversity of forms and welcomes up to 13,000 visitors each year. As in 2020 already, the Festival will be taking place online this year.
The 22nd poesiefestival berlin is a project by the Haus für Poesie in cooperation with the Academy of Arts. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund and the Federal Foreign Office. It gratefully acknowledges the kind support of the Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and the Goethe-Institut. Presented by Der Freitag, taz, BÜCHERmagazin, tip Berlin/ EXBERLINER, rbbKultur, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, ASK HELMUT and SINN UND FORM.