Durs Grünbein

Porcelain - Poems

(German title: Porzellan)
ca. 67 pages
Durs Grünbein
Foto: Durs Grünbein
© Tineke de Lange

Durs Grünbein, born 1962 in Dresden, lives in Berlin.

Awards (Selection):

Peter-Huchel-Prize (1995)
Georg-Büchner-Prize (1995)
Friedrich Nietzsche-Prize (2004)
Tomas-Tränströmer-Prize (2012)
Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award (2020)

Rights available


The night between the 13th and 14th of February, 1945 marked one of the most brutal and much discussed events of World War II; it was the night that Dresden, one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Europe, was reduced to soot and ash in a matter of hours.

The lyricist, essayist, and translator, Durs Grünbein, who was born in Dresden, captures the catastrophe within the 49 stanzas of this epic poem. It is a musical fusion of eyewitness accounts, of family memories and stories, of monuments and relics. It is the story of the city’s destiny as seen through a prism of biographical enigmas, reflections on the power and limits of poetry, and its fate’s intimate relation to the white gold porcelain, whose very meaning reaches back to the myths and poems of antiquity.

Other publications

Zündkerzen/Spark Plugs (2017)

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Italy (selection; Einaudi)

Der cartesische Taucher/The Cartesian Diver (2008)

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

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

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Italy (Einaudi), Sweden (Ersatz), Greece (Keedros)

Erklärte Nacht/Declared Night (2002)

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Italy (Einaudi), Hungary (Jelenkor)

Das erste Jahr/The First Year (2001)

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Italy (Einaudi)

Nach den Satiren/After the Satires (1999)

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