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The Poetry Society Annual Lecture with Jan Wagner | 06-Feb-17

The next Poetry Society Annual Lecture will be given by award-winning German poet, essayist and translator Jan Wagner, who will talk about the influence and the exchange of poetic ideas across borders.

Each year, The Poetry Society commissions a new lecture given by a high profile poet of international standing. This year's lecture, 'The Shedding of Skins and Schemes: a voice of one's own and the voices of others', will tour to Oxford, Liverpool and London from 20-22 February 2017.

Interspersed with readings of some of his own poems, Wagner's lecture, delivered in English, draws on poets such as Rimbaud, Heym and Brecht, Popa, Pound and Hughes, and the poet-translators who have carried their work between cultures. As Wagner explains, ‘Who does not, when talking or writing, occasionally have the strange feeling that somebody else is moulding the words, holding the pen? And so both may at times be heard in a poem, a distinctive voice and a choir.’

A poet and essayist, Wagner has published six volumes of poetry, and has received many awards for his poetry, including the Ernst Meister Prize (2005), the Wilhelm Lehmann Prize (2009), the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize (2011) and the Mörike Preis (2015). His collection Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees (Arc), translated by Iain Galbraith, won the Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize 2015. He is the co-editor of two influential anthologies of German language poetry, and has also translated into German poets including Armitage, MacNeice, Shapcott and Simic. 

Find out more about this year's lecture on The Poetry Society website


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