22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Aleš Šteger

Aleš Šteger was born in 1973 in Ptuj [former Yugoslavia, today Slovenia]. He studied comparative literature, German, and philosophy at the University of Ljubljana.

To date, he has published seven volumes of poetry, short prose, and two novels. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages. Following a quotation from the Great Dictionary of the Slovenian Language – »There isn’t a word for every thing«, Šteger turns the opening thesis on its head in fifty poems of »Knjiga reči« [2005; Eng. »The Book of Things«, 2010], giving things a voice and showing, above all, the changing forms of everyday objects. He explores the metaphorical nature of the human body in his fifth volume of poetry, »Knjiga teles« [2010; tr: Book of Bodies]. After a stay in Berlin on a DAAD artist fellowship, his essayistic sketches »Preußenpark« [2009; tr: Prussian Park] appeared. »Šteger’s power to span temporal and spatial distances with audacious associations is remarkable, even more so his ability to do so within a few lines, from one word to the next« [»textem«]. In his dystopian novel »Neverend« [2017], he explores war as a major literary theme in both analytical and poetic ways: »a book set in a European future, but in which war is present as a memory echo. […] In this way, real and surreal levels are superimposed, pictorially depicted and linguistically elaborated« [Justification #1 on the SWR Bestenliste, June 2022]. Most recently, he published the novella collection »Bogovi se nam smejijo« [2022; tr: The Gods Laugh at Us] about myths such as those of Europa, Medusa, Orpheus, Prometheus, Icarus and Narcissus, and their embedding in the present day.

Šteger has translated many texts, including works by Pablo Neruda, Ingeborg Bachmann, Gottfried Benn, and Walter Benjamin. He was also the long-time program director of the international poetry festival Poetry and Wine and initiated the European poetry network Versopolis. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Best Translated Book Award [USA], the Horst Bienek Prize for Poetry, and the Alfred Kolleritsch Appreciation Prize of the City of Graz, and is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the German Academy for Language and Poetry. Aleš Šteger lives in Ljubljana.

Date: 2022