Ann Cotten


(German title: Florida-Räume)
ca. 285 pages
Ann Cotten
Foto: Ann Cotten
© Inge Zimmermann

Ann Cotten, born in Iowa in 1982, grew up in Vienna. She has been living in Berlin since 2006. In 2011, she spent four months in Nagoya, Japan.

For her first poetry collection, Fremdwörterbuchsonette (2007), she was awarded the Reinhard Preissnitz Prize and the Clemens Brentano Prize for Literature of the city of Heidelberg. For Florida-Räume (2010), she received the Hermann Hesse Literature Prize. In 2014, Ann Cotten was awarded the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Prize; in 2015, she was the first recipient of the newly founded Klopstock-Prize for Contemporary Literature. In 2017, she was awarded the Hugo-Ball-Prize for her oeuvre

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»Want to earn money writing? Want to disclose your most intimate thoughts?« Naturally, people reacted to our invitation in the classifieds and sent in texts. Some of them have been gathered in the present portfolio, which we have tentatively entitled »Florida-Spaces«, borrowed from one of the more unconventional submissions. Its author is the Marienfeld School, a group of philosophising dogs, one of whom, a cocker spaniel/architectural critic, happened upon the one from that requires further examination: the provisional projection, the leaning greenhouse, the post-modern sickness of the mind, the Florida-Space. Other individuals submitted poems, like Bettine, Bettine’s Mother, a revolutionary caddisfly and former Stasi-agent who keeps a journal about her dreams. The texts have been annotated to aid the reader’s understanding.

Ann Cotten, the »brilliant-American-Austrian country bumpkin from Iowa« (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung), has also joined this writing competition initiated by an alien power, delivering an impatient, profound exploration of our terrestrial existence.


From the jury’s statement on the Hugo-Ball-Prize 2017:
»Ann Cotten receives the Hugo-Ball-Prize 2017 for her unique and inventive work. In her novels, essays, poems, or epic poems, she utilizes the possibilities of literary forms to their fullest extent and considers language to be a matter of art first and foremost. In her texts, politics, philosophy, and aesthetic calculations merge to oscillating creations that are dedicated to revolution as much as they are to beauty. Her works stand out among contemporary literature due to the fearlessness of her thinking. She questions that which seems to be self-evident, and unites the incongruous, yet the shocks that may be caused by this are counterbalanced by her clear and elegant style.«