Uljana Wolf © Renate von Mangoldt © Renate von Mangoldt


Goethe-Institut New York

Uljana Wolf © Renate von Mangoldt

In March, the Berlin- and Brooklyn-based poet and translator Uljana Wolf will be awarded the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s prestigious Adelbert von Chamisso Prize for her work to date and, in particular, her volume of poetry Meine schönste Lengevitch (kookbooks, 2013). The jury said, “Her approximations of the foreign through playful reflection of linguistically-conveyed reality are successful examples of future-oriented, cosmopolitan literature.”

In this evening event, Wolf reads from Meine schönste Lengevitch and discusses how her work relates to issues of translation, migration, language loss, and language politics. She is in conversation with her translator, the poet and scholar Sophie Seita, whose translations of Wolf received the Wonder Book Prize in 2014 and a Pen/Heim Award in 2015.

Uljana Wolf, born in 1979 in Berlin, lives and works in Berlin and Brooklyn. She has published three volumes of poetry, kochanie ich habe brot gekauft (2005), falsche freunde (2009), and Meine schönste Lengevitch (2013) as well as the essay BOX OFFICE (2010) and a joint sonnet erasure project with Christian Hawkey, Sonne From Ort (2012). Among the English-language poets she has translated into German are Matthea Harvey, Erín Moure, John Asbery, Yoko Ono, and Cole Swensen. Her own work has been translated into more than thirteen languages. She has received numerous prizes for her literary works and translations, including the Peter Huchel Prize and the Dresden Poetry Prize. Wolf teaches German and literary translation at New York University and the Pratt Institute.

Sophie Seita is the author of Meat (Little Red Leaves, 2015), Fantasias in Counting (BlazeVOX Books, 2014), 12 Steps (Wide Range, 2012), and i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where (Wonder, 2015, a translation from the German of Uljana Wolf). She received a 2015 PEN/Heim Award to translate Uljana Wolf’s Subsisters: Selected Poems, forthcoming from Belladonna in 2017. She is the recipient of The John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships and grants from Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Cambridge, Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, DAAD, Queen Mary University of London, and others. Her academic research focuses on avant-garde little magazines, experimental autobiography, small-press poetry, and print culture from the mid-19th to the early 21st century. She currently lives in New York. In October, she will take up a Junior Research Fellowship at Queens’ College, Cambridge.