Reading and discussion How to Subsister: The Multilingual Poetry of Uljana Wolf

Uljana Wolf © Villa Massimo / Alberto Novelli


Goethe-Institut New York

German poet Uljana Wolf has forged a unique form of poetry out of the distorting and transforming process of translation. On the occasion of the publication of Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna Press), she will be joined by American poets and translators (including Cathy Park Hong, Mina Pam Dick, LaTasha N. Diggs, Sawako Nakayasu, Celina Su, Farnoosh Fathi, Anna Moschovakis, and Matvei Yankelevich) for a dynamic reading of her experimental poems in both the original language(s) and in the radical translations of Sophie Seita. In between poems, Wolf will discuss her singular style with award-winning translator Susan Bernofsky, examining new ways to think about translation, multilingualism, immigration, and mother tongues.  
Uljana Wolf is a German poet, translator, and essayist, born 1979 in East Berlin. She published four books of poetry with kookbooks. Wolf has received several grants and awards for her work, among them the Villa Massimo Residency in Rome, 2017, and the prestigious Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Preis 2016. She teaches German and classes on poetry and translation at New York University, Pratt Institute, Humboldt University Berlin and the Institute für Sprachkunst, Vienna. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Berlin.  
Author and translator Susan Bernofsky directs the program Literary Translation at Columbia in the MFA Writing Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts.  Her previous awards include the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize and the 2012 Hermann Hesse Translation Prize of the City of Calw, as well as numerous prestigious grants and fellowships.  Her most recent translation is the novel Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck. She blogs about translation at and is currently at work on a biography of Robert Walser for Yale University Press.