We are delighted to announce the release of German poet Nora Gomringer’s debut collection in English – Hydra’s Heads, translated by the brilliant Annie Rutherford. A first for us, this poetry in translation is wild, unique and a must read this summer.
Nora Gomringer is one of Germany’s best known and loved contemporary poets. In the early 2000s she was a prominent voice in Germany’s young slam scene, and her background in performance continues to inform her work. Her writing blurs the boundaries between performance and page poetry, as well as often intersecting with other art forms, from film to music and visual art. She’s won a number of awards for her writing, from the Jacob Grimm German Language Prize in 2011 to the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Award in 2015.
Annie Rutherford makes things with words, and champions poetry and translated literature in all its guises. She has divided her working life between Germany and Scotland, and is now programme co-ordinator for StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, as well as a freelance translator. She co-founded Goettingen’s Poetree festival, edited the literary magazine Far Off Places and makes comics with illustrator Beth Barnett.
Experimental yet accessible, Nora Gomringer has demonstrated an almost unique ability to stride seamlessly from stage to page to film to literature festival and to be at home simultaneously in all zones of the poetry world.
Drawing on a number of Nora’s books Hydra’s Heads is comprised of poems which defy categorisation, and show Nora interweaving the best of German page and spoken word poetry to create something entirely her own. These are poems which laugh, howl, stamp their lines. They are candid, wry, compassionate. There are poems about the darker times of Germany’s modern history, reworkings of myths and fairy tales and a 3-page-long ode to sex against a wall.