Literature and Journalism Dieter M. Gräf

  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    The Exhibition of Dieter M. Gräf “The Big Chance” (Die große Chance) at Three Shadows Photography Art Center
  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    The Exhibition of Dieter M. Gräf “The Big Chance” (Die große Chance) at Three Shadows Photography Art Center
  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    The Exhibition of Dieter M. Gräf “The Big Chance” (Die große Chance) at Three Shadows Photography Art Center
  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    The Exhibition of Dieter M. Gräf “The Big Chance” (Die große Chance) at Three Shadows Photography Art Center
  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    Dieter M. Gräf in dialogue with Xi Chuan(西川) and Xiao Kaiyu(萧开愚)
  • Dieter M. Gräf © Goethe-Institut China
    Dieter M. Gräf in dialogue with Xi Chuan(西川) and Xiao Kaiyu(萧开愚)


Dieter M. Gräf was born in 1960 in Ludwigshafen am Rhein. He has received a number of grants and awards, including the Leonce and Lena Prize of the City of Darmstadt, and has been writer-in-residence at the Literarisches Colloquium in Berlin, Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, the German Festival in India, Villa Massimo in Rome and Deutsches Haus in New York. His poetry has been published by Suhrkamp (Rauschstudie: Vater + Sohn (1994), Treibender Kopf (1997) and Westrand (2002)) and Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt (Buch Vier (2008)). He served as visiting professor at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig in 2012/13 and has been a member of the PEN-Zentrum Deutschland (Germen PEN Center) since 1996.

In the autumn of 2013 Gräf spent two months in Beijing as a poet in the writer-in-residence programme. He found the city “exciting and appealing”, a “centre of the arts”. During his stay, he conversed with a number of Chinese authors and artists, including Wang Jiaxin, Xiao Kaiyu, Xi Chuan, Ai Weiwei and Rong Rong. In a panel discussion with fellow poets, he and his Chinese peers talked about literary production and the poet’s role in the present-day world. At the end of his residency, he came up with the idea of putting together an exhibition in Beijing using his writings and photographs to convey who he is and where he is from.
                                                                       
“The photographs round out my story,” he said. “They may not be very sharp or professional, but they do give a vibrant sense of my background, of my family home in Maudach.” In August 2014, Gräf put together Die grosse Chance (“The Big Chance”), an exhibition at the Three Shadow Art Center in Beijing. The show featured some forty photos and a sound installation based on three of his poems. This project ushered in a new phase in Gräf’s work, using visual material to complement his poetry.