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Durs Grünbein

Praise of the Typhoon

Durs Grünbein visited Japan four times, in pursuit of a long elective affinity for the East that is also reflected in his works. During all of the four journeys he kept a travel journal in the form of short poems. »To me, since I never take photos, the haiku seemed the appropriate equivalent of the polaroid. They are pictures of the world floating at the surface. Only that in this case, they are made from nothing but words. An impression that is put into words the very next moment.«

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

Durs Grünbein

The Misanthrope on Capri

The Misanthrope on Capri (a reference to emperor Tiberius) gathers Durs Grünbein’s »histories«, printed in various publications and in his own volumes of poetry – poems that mainly deal with Roman antiquity.

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

Durs Grünbein

Porcelain

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.

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English world rights (Seagull)

Durs Grünbein

The Vocation of Poetry

Proceeding on the observation that poetics that create norms and set benchmarks no longer existed, Grünbein traces his poetic career as a »sketch of a personal psychopoetics«.

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers)

Durs Grünbein

Verses for the Day after Tomorrow

Durs Grünbein’s new book of poetry is a work of memory and yet also a volume of transitions and transformations. In seven sections and with a variety of different verse forms, Grünbein’s range of images melds to form a picture of the world. Poems on origin are at the beginning, before, in travel poems of all things, the uncanny nature of modern mobility emerges.

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

Durs Grünbein

Spark Plugs

Spark Plugs is a collection of 83 poems in diverse forms consisting of dream fragments, snippets of speech, prose poems, broken sonnets, and sequences that read like accident reports. They are all based in Italy, on Italian relations, and on Italian motifs in their historical dimensions but also on decay and destruction. There is a strong emphasis on the now. These poems are often quick, and work directly on the level of impression. They vary in form from the sonnet to the long poem. Of the two longer poems in the collection one has to do with the quirks of perception and the relationship between reality, sleep, and dream while the other is interfused with the poet’s own colour photographs. Textually varied, diverse in tone, rapid and at times experimental, this is a solid, well-written collection of poetry.

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Italy (selection; Einaudi)

Hermann Hesse

The Magic of Colours

At the age of 40, in the middle of World War I, Hermann Hesse started to paint. To him it was an »outlet, so as to be able to bear life even in the direst of times« and to gain some distance from literature. »I’m holding my painting chair,« he writes in 1920, »it is my magic apparatus and Faust coat with whose help I have performed magic thousands of times and won the fight against stupid reality.«

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Russia (Text); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Japan (Iwanami Shoten), Croatia (Zagrebacka Naklada)

Hermann Hesse

Butterflies

»I have always had a connection with butterflies and other fleeting and ephemeral beauties, while I have never succeeded in maintaining permanent, committed and so-called solid relationships,« writes Hermann Hesse in a letter from 1926. This preference, occasionally resembling an elective affinity, for »flowers and butterflies, / That are of everlasting things / a fleeting allegory« – as he says in one of his poems, has left its mark on Hesse’s entire oeuvre. This volume gathers the most alluring of his stories, recollections, contemplations and poems on butterflies.

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Korea (Moonye)

Hermann Hesse

At Christmas Time

»My childhood days I think of now, / A long-forgotten fairy tale sound awakens: / Bells ring and on silver shoes / The Christkind walks though the white night.« It’s mainly childhood memories that the poet Hermann Hesse associates with Christmas. But the older he gets the more Hesse distances himself from the business-minded sentimentality that by now shapes the »holiday of love«. A dichotomy between awe and mocking distance permeates the contemplations and recollections gathered here that Hesse wrote on this »always wonderful holiday despite all falsehood«.

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Hungary (Helikon)

Esther Kinsky

Slates

Esther Kinsky’s new book is dedicated to slate, the polymorphic, versatile sedimentary rock, and to the Slate Islands, a small archipelago off the West coast of Scotland. For centuries, slate was mined on those islands that are part of the Inner Hebrides and they are lastingly shaped by the intensive industry that was abandoned many decades ago and that has left behind a bizarre landscape of debris and flooded quarries.

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Thomas Kling

Sondages

As the images of the devastating attack on the World Trade Center in New York were flickering across the TV screens on September 11, 2001, Thomas Kling began drafting a laconic lament as a live connection »to the waters of the hudson«: »Manhattan Mundraum Zwei«. The volume Sondages, published in 2002, opens with this poem, which thus arches over the cyclically structured events that followed.

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Thomas Kling

Collected Works in Four Volumes

Fifteen years after his early death, it is time to discover the entire œuvre of Thomas Kling. The provocatively-sensitive Thomas Kling of contemporary classics such as the volumes of poetry flavour enhancers and Long-distance Trading. The arbiter of traditions and fearless polemic Thomas Kling in the poetological self-placement Itinerar and in the seminal collection of essays Messenger Substances.

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Angela Krauß

Flow

Poetic existence unfolds in Angela Krauß’ magical language, a language in which reality vibrates – and dreams become tangible.

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Michael Krüger

Change of Time

This new volume of Michael Krüger’s poetical-lyrical explorations of nature, after Just Before the Storm (2003), Under the Open Sky (2007) and Clarity (2010), is published just in time for the author’s seventieth birthday. They are poems that focus on our living conditions with a mixure of amazement and reflection – one hundred attempts at summarising centrifugal events without heroics, as succinctly as possible, in order to catch an image of the world, be it ever so fleeting.

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English world rights (Seagull), France (selection; Sajat), Italy (Mondadori), Denmark (Epilog)

Thomas Kunst

Colonies And Cufflinks

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.

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Christian Lehnert

Cherubic Dust

Christian Lehnert’s seventh volume of poetry again goes all out: from two-line moments, to sonnets, odes and tersest and onwards to extensive, multi-facetted poems, this poetry works with a tremendous diversity of form.

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Christian Lehnert

Draughts

If you wanted to ascribe a style to Christian Lehnert’s poetry, it would most likely be that of the metaphysical poetry. In that way, his poems claim a unique position in contemporary German poetry; following the examples of poets like John Donne, Shakespeare of George Herbert, his influences stem mostly from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of poetry.

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Nicolas Mahler

Poems

A philosophy of life presented in image-poems about the absurdity of existence Poems worthy of Beckett, Cioran and Wittgenstein’s praise Written by the »existentialist of humour«

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English world rights (Seagull), Czech Republic (Archa)

Friederike Mayröcker

brütt

»brütt«. To Friederike Mayröcker a symbol of pain and hardship, of the cold and of grief, were it not for the »sighing gardens« that lend a soft counterbalance to the stirrings of love that she traces carefully. But did it really happen, the relationship with Joseph, or is it nothing but a chimera, but wishful thinking? In the midst of the raptures of love, certainty is never within reach. Nevertheless, the author is able to bring order into the hazy states of mind, to give name to the sensations felt and to track the inexplicable. In her unmistakable linguistic accuracy, she exposes the fragile core of love layer by layer and thus frees herself from the chains of the unspeakable.

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: English world rights (Northwestern UP), France (Atelier de l'Agneau)

Friederike Mayröcker

cahier

Friederike Mayröcker doesn’t have time. Neither for résumé and memory, nor for extensive observations and reasoning and certainly not for storytelling. She doesn’t even have time for life itself if it isn’t one of writing. What counts is poetry alone, as well as »the echo-like inventions« contained in her writings, of a life that has lasted for almost a century already. On the outside, this life may be subjected to the impositions of the finitude of all human existence – on the inside and in its transformation into the eternal moment, it is constantly gaining new ways of experiencing: »(The years are becoming more incredible), the blue, slits of the sky, am ambivalent.«

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English world rights (Seagull)

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