Deutsches Haus at NYU and World Poetry Books presents a reading and conversation about kochanie today i bought bread with the author and poet Uljana Wolf, the translator Greg Nissan, and the poet Valzhyna Mort. The conversation will be moderated by Ulrich Baer.
In kochanie, today I bought bread, Uljana Wolf crosses borders from East Germany into Poland, from fairy tales to the tallying of land torn by fateful past, from women’s voices “hibernating in documents,” to Lavinia’s spilling forth of red language. Hailed by critics for its “brief strokes that open up a wide historical space in which political doom is still present,” this book is a testament that the cartography we inherit is equal parts limit and dare. Wolf’s debut collection won the Peter Huchel Prize in 2006—she was its youngest recipient. Nearly 20 years later, this bilingual edition—featuring a new introduction by Valzhyna Mort and Greg Nissan’s superbly-tuned translation—invites English-language readers into the “guest room” of poetry.
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The book kochanie, today i bought bread will be available for sale by World Poetry Books.
About the participants:
Uljana Wolf, born in East Berlin, is an acclaimed German poet, translator, and essayist. Her work crosses poetry, translation, and languages in between. She has published five books of poetry, and numerous poetry translations, including works by Valzhyna Mort, Christian Hawkey, Matthea Harvey, Erín Moure, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, and Eugene Ostashevsky. Her collection of essays and talks, Etymologischer Gossip (Kookbooks, 2021), received the Prize of the Leipzig Bookfair for essays and nonfiction and is forthcoming in an English translation from Nightboat Books. English translations of her work include Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna*, 2017), translated by Sophie Seita, and False Friends (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), translated by Susan Bernofsky. Wolf's awards include the Adalbert von Chamisso Prize, the Villa Massimo Rome Prize, the Müaut;nster Prize for International Poetry, and the Peter Huchel Prize. A collection of academic writings on her work will be published by De Gruyter Verlag in 2023. Wolf teaches translation and poetry at various institutions including the Pratt Berlin Program and the Institute für Sprachkunst, Vienna.
Greg Nissan is the author of The City Is Lush With / Obstructed Views (DoubleCross Press, 2019) and the translator of War Diary by Yevgenia Belorusets (New Directions, 2023). Their translations of Yevgenia Belorusets were presented in the 59th Venice Biennale, as well as in the accompanying publication In the Face Of War (Isolarii, 2022). They are the recipient of Fulbright and NEA fellowships for translation, the latter to translate Austrian poet Ann Cotten's Banned! An Epic Poem (2016) into English.
Born in Minsk, Belarus, Valzhyna Mort is the author of three poetry collections, including Music for the Dead and Resurrected (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), named one of the best poetry books of 2020 by The New York Times, and the winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize and the UNT Rilke Prize. Mort is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the Lannan Foundation, the Amy Clampitt Foundation, and a National Endowment for the Arts.
Ulrich Baer, who will be the moderator of this conversation, is University Professor at New York University where he teaches literature and photography. His books include: Remnants of Song: Experience of Modernity in Charles Baudelaire and Paul Celan; Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma; The Rilke Alphabet; What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech, Equality and Truth in the University, The Dark Interval: Rilke’s Letters on Loss, Grief and Transformation, and, with Amir Eshel, Hannah Arendt zwischen den Disziplinen. He hosts the ideas podcast, Think About It, and has published editions of numerous classic books, including new translations of Freud's Civilization and its Discontents and Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, with Warbler Press.
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To RSVP for in-person attendance, please click here.
"kochanie, today i bought bread" is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA). Additional support and thanks goes to Matvei Yankelevich of World Poetry Books for all of his organisational support.