Thomas Kunst

Colonies And Cufflinks - Poems

(German title: Kolonien und Manschettenknöpfe)
ca. 125 pages
Thomas Kunst
Foto: Thomas Kunst
© Dirk Skiba

Thomas Kunst, born in 1965, works as a library assistant at the German National Library. He has received numerous awards for his prose and poetry, amongst them the Meran Poetry Prize 2014. In 2018, he was awarded the Lower Austria Prize for Literature for an excerpt from The Cliffs of Zandschow.

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Thomas Kunst’s new poems are like a foray through a Luna park: Arab horsemen gather in the DIY superstore, the battle of Tours and Poitiers rages between carports and garden furniture covers in the year 732, and we encounter a Viking on 54th street in New York.

The subject of movement and flight are tangible in almost every poem. Although current topics such as the environment, migration and war keep reoccurring, everything that is brought into the poem is worldly, is interwoven with the poets subjective experience. This self has been asking itself since childhood how one can possibly live between and in the aforementioned problem areas. Fantasy and poetry only offer seeming places of refuge. Even these places are shaken up in the poetological texts, which deal less with discursive issues of contemporary poetry, but instead with the worldly problems of a poet within the literary scene.

These poems draw on the follies of life. They develop a different realness, but rearranging everyday objects, characters and circumstances into fictive alternative worlds. They explore options that at best appear surprisingly absurd and then end up centring around just one thing: How not to go down.


»Like a good DJ, Kunst knows how to mix the elements of his verse music and create seamless transitions, even where no connection actually seems to exist …As a reader, one enjoys being inspired and joining the other dancers... « Tobias Lehmkuhl, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Each poem a jewel. Each poem a celebration of life. Each one contains a solution of deliverance, an aversion from all things dreary, dull and drab.« Feridun Zaimoglu, LITERATUR SPIEGEL

»With a mixture of irony and melancholy, Thomas Kunst manages to illuminate the endangered position of the poet in modern day media business like no other …« Ulf Heise, Leipziger Volkszeitung

»His poetry is (…) more storytelling: undisguised and immeasurable like real life.« Deutschlandfund Kultur

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