Poetry (in translation) by Kathrin Schmidt

 how you close the door

and leave: i’ll hear it

on daily repeat for evermore.

if you came back, your voice

would be like an island in my

sunami-devastated mind.



wie du die tür schließt

und gehst: bis eben

ein stets wiederholbarer vorgang.

kämst du jetzt wieder,

deine stimme spräch inselchen

auf den kahlschlag in meinem kopf


in Ein Engel fliegt durch die Tapetenfabrik, Neues Lebens Verlag, GDR 1987




Kathrin Schmidt was born in Jena, former GDR, 1958. She’s a left-wing feminist poet, grandmother, smoker, who lives in Mahlsdorf, an unfashionable part of greater Berlin. None of her poetry collections or novels, including her German Book Prize winning novel Du stirbst nicht (2009), have been translated into English.



Sue Vickerman (translator) was born in Bradford, England, 1964. Sue was motivated  (this is a long story cut short) by Brexit, and by the trauma of her northern working class English parents having voted to leave, to find a peer poet to translate who had grown up in the former GDR, which Sue has always felt to be materially similar to growing up in austere working class post-industrial Bradford. Today’s legitimate “left behind“ feelings (Benachteiligungsgefühle)  in the north of England and the eastern German states may have been instrumental in the protest-voting in the two regions. suevickerman.eu















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