Ulrike Almut Sandig
Thick of It
80pp (5,800 words)
The poems of Ulrike Almut Sandig are at once simple and fantastic. They are musical and they tell a story. With their sure sense of speech rhythms, they won the German-language Meran Poetry Award, and also the jury of the distinguished Leonce and Lena Award was »quite enchanted« (Jan Koneffke).
In her new poetry volume DICKICHT Ulrike Almut Sandig is on her way to imaginary territories. The long journey to a magical fantastic south leads vertically down through the globe and, not least, also intersects with »the right way to the common meeting point, to the middle of the world«.
»Graceful and tender is her view of the world.«
give me the cropped fields under the layer of air
give me the pine trees. they draw down the immovable light.
give me the fish pond over there, all the duckweed on it.
give me the suddenly darkening verdigris on my
isolated house, the clouds rolling away over it. Eyes
open! and again the afternoon spreads in all directions.
Read four poems from THICK OF IT in the English translation by Karen Leeder:
»South« and »it will all still be there«: (MPT Magazine)
»slender shadows« and »from the plane you see«: (Asymptote Journal)
»noon«, »everything comes« and »glittering cities of central Europe«: (Asymptote Journal)
»This is language at it’s most crafted and tranformative, blisteringly contemporary, but with a kind auf austerity, too (...), by turns comic, ironic, sceptical, nostalgic, it’s also profoundly musical (...), exploiting multiple meanings and stretching syntax, so that the audience is constantly on the backfoot. Experiencing these poems, (...) one comes away feeling that precariousness, but also exihilaration, and (...) that visceral excitement in your gutt, when you know, you’re in the presence of the real thing. (...)
Sandig is one of the most exciting contemporary writers of her generation, engaging in a vital alchemy of the here and now, and hers is a voice we urgently need in English.«
Karen Leeder, The Translation Pitch New Literary Voices With PEN
»This is a moving, humorous and pretty spectacular verbal vanishing act that urgently deserves an audience in the English language.«
PEN Presents Europe
»Despite all the severity of its dialectic, labyrinthine and aporetic scenarios, this volume of poetry impresses with witty language, self-irony, humor, philosophical fantasy and an emphatic poetic self-image.«
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
»Sandig has an affinity for sequences of vocals and consonants, and subtle internal rhymes enhance their sound and rhythm. (...) Her poems are graceful, surprising, and new.«
Südwestrundfunk (SWR 2)
Die Literarische Welt
»Ulrike Almut Sandig’s poems lead us into the mysterious realm of poetry and at the same time they provide a feeling of security and comfort as if we, the readers, had always been at home there.«
»Ulrike Almut Sandig has a very unique voice that oscillates between children's song, romantic fairytale melody and delicate fantasy. Again, we hear the trancelike murmur, the somnambulistic whispering and dreamily aside-speaking that already marked her previous volume Streumen. Romanticized topoi are thwarted by images of the uncanny - so that the poem retains its balance between utopian thinking and everyday disillusionment.«
»In her new poetry book, Ulrike Almut Sand explores imaginary territory.«
»You should read this book silently - to then quietly enjoy it.«
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR Kultur)