22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Maren Kames

Portrait Maren Kames
© Mathias Bothor

Maren Kames was born in 1984 in Überlingen on Lake Constance. She first studied cultural studies, philosophy, literature, and theater in Tübingen and Leipzig and then creative writing and cultural journalism in Hildesheim, where she was co-editor of the literary magazine »BELLA triste« from 2011 to 2013.

In 2013 she won the 21st Open Mike, one year later she received a Gargonza Arts Award and was invited to the 18th Klagenfurt Literature Course. She published her first book in 2016 with the volume »Halb Taube Halb Pfau« (tr: Half Dove Half Peacock). The texts break out from the usual genre boundaries and move between poetry, prose, and drama. On the one hand, there is a lyric I that explores the world by touch and tries to fill the silence with words and images; on the other, there are countering voices that condense into dialogues or ring as an echo. These voices also appear physically in the text via an audio level integrated into the extensive typesetting. With changes in register, a variety of sounds of linguistic expression, as well as sprinkles of humor, Kames already proves herself in her début as an unmistakable voice of German-language poetry. After the publication, Kames also produced short audio fragments of the texts. The jury of the Düsseldorfer Poesiedebütpreis, which was awarded to Kames for »Halb Taube Halb Pfau« in 2017, praised her work: »With the surprising use of sound collages, the limits of visual perception of literature are extended, and the extraordinarily beautifully designed book is given an additional sensual dimension. With her début, Maren Kames proves herself to be a new poetic voice with her own style who knows how to combine precision and pleasure in playing with language.« The work also received the Anna Seghers Prize in the same year. In the years before and after the book’s publication, she staged the text as live radio play, installations, and performances in collaboration with visual artists and composers at, among others, the HKW Berlin, the Galerie Johann König, the Literaturhäuser Stuttgart and Freiburg and the Cologne Opera. Texts from »Halb Taube Halb Pfau« form the basis of the radio play »90° 0ʼ 0ʼʼ«, which was produced in 2019 for SWR in collaboration with Milena Kipfmüller and Klaus Janek and voted as radio play of the month of June by the German Academy for Performing Arts in Darmstadt. Her second volume of poetry »Luna Luna« was published in August 2019; a radio play produced by Deutschlandfunk and directed by Leopold von Verschuer was premiered in the same month on Deutschlandfunk.

She has received a one-year scholarship from the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Kranichsteiner Literaturförderpreis, was at Schloss Solitude on a grant from the Literaturhaus Stuttgart, and was most recently at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles. Kames lives in Berlin as an author and literary translator.