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Durs Grünbein

Grey Area in the Mornings - Poems

(German title: Grauzone morgens)
ca. 96 pages
Paperback
1988
Durs Grünbein
Foto: Durs Grünbein
© Tineke de Lange

Durs Grünbein, born in Dresden in 1962, read Theatre Studies in Berlin, after which he worked as a freelancer writing for various literary magazines. After the Berlin Wall fell, Grünbein travelled the world extensively, visiting Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. Grünbein currently lectures on Poetics at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts and lives in East Berlin. His debut volume of poetry published in 1988 was entitled Grauzone morgens and he went on to publish nearly twenty poetry collections, including Vom Schnee oder Descartes in Deutschland (2003), Der Misanthrop auf Capri (2005), Porzellan. Poem vom Untergang meiner Stadt (2005) and Zündkerzen (2017). He is also the author of a collection of essays and opera librettos. He translated the tragedies of Aeschylus and Seneca into German, but also the works of contemporary authors such as Sara Kane, Ted Hughes, Wallace Stevens, Samuel Beckett, John Ashbery and Tomas Venclova.

Awards (Selection):

Peter-Huchel-Prize (1995)
Georg-Büchner-Prize (1995)
Friedrich Nietzsche-Prize (2004)
Friedrich-Hölderlin-Prize (2005)
Literary Prize of the City of Berlin (2006)
Premio Internazionale Pier Paolo Pasolini (Rome, 2006)
Samuel Bogumił Linde Prize (together with Adam Zagajewski, 2009)
Tomas-Tränströmer-Prize (2012)
European Poet of Freedom Award (Gdańsk, 2012)
Premio Internazionale di Poesia (Bologna, 2019)
Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award (2020)

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Italy (Einaudi); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish world rights (Poesia Hidalgo), Hungary (Jelenkor)

About

The »silent turmoil« of an elegiac expressionism is what propels Durs Grünbein’s poems forwards, who notes his experience of reality in crass and direct images.

In these poems, a protest against a reality that is increasingly harder to grasp, »everything happens at eye level«. Durs Grünbein holds onto the fleeting moments in his poems in »Glimpses & Glances«, poems from the »Ghetto of a Lost Generation«: grey cities, destroyed landscapes and the »broken visages« of the working heroes. But at the same time these poems dream of escaping the gravity of the situation. Representative of a young generation born into the GDR Durs Grünbein asks:

Amigo, just what went wrong that they are turning us into children like that with their insight into necessity, their growing role of the state?

Other publications

Jenseits der Literatur/Beyond Literature (2020)

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English world rights (Seagull)

Aus der Traum (Kartei)/From the Dream (Files) (2019)

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France (selection; 17 Muscles)

Zündkerzen/Spark Plugs (2017)

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Italy (selection; Einaudi)

Die Jahre im Zoo/The Years at the Zoo (2015)

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English world rights (Seagull), Sweden (Ersatz)

Vom Stellenwert der Worte/The Vocation of Poetry (2010)

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers)

Die Bars von Atlantis/The Bars of Atlantis (2009)

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English world rights (FSG), Sweden (Ersatz)

Lob des Taifuns/Praise of the Typhoon (2008)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: France (Voix de Plumes)

Der cartesische Taucher/The Cartesian Diver (2008)

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers), Sweden (Ersatz)

Strophen für übermorgen/Verses for the Day after Tomorrow (2007)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Italy (Einaudi)

Porzellan/Porcelain (2005)

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English world rights (Seagull)

Der Misanthrop auf Capri/The Misanthrope on Capri (2005)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Poland (Slowo)

Vom Schnee oder Descartes in Deutschland/On Snow or Descartes in Germany (2003)

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France (Greges), Italy (Einaudi), Sweden (Ersatz); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Greece (Keedros)

Erklärte Nacht/Declared Night (2002)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Italy (Einaudi), Hungary (Jelenkor)

Das erste Jahr/The First Year (2001)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Italy (Einaudi)

Nach den Satiren/After the Satires (1999)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: France (Petits Matins), Hungary (Jelenkor)

Den Teuren Toten/The Dear Dead (1994)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Portuguese rights (Angelus Novus), Norway (Bokvennen), Japan (CHUO University Press)