22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Marion Poschmann

Portrait Marion Poschmann
© Hartwig Klappert

The German writer and poet Marion Poschmann was born in 1969 in Essen. From 1989 to 1992, she studied German literature, philosophy, and Slavic studies in Bonn, and from 1992 to 1995 she studied in Berlin, where she lives today.

She gained the attention of readers and critics for her early literary work such as the poetry collection »Grund zu Schafen« (2004; tr: Reason to Sheep) and »Schwarzweißroman« (2005; tr: Black and White Novel). She shows herself to be a precise observer of spaces and landscapes, explores the relationship between nature and poetry, and understands the creation of poetry as an organic process. Beyond that, for Schumann, poetry is a like a school for learning how to see. »What does one see when one observes the moon on a moonless night? […] Is this moon a moon that can be observed as part of nature? Is it purely a moon of language, a moon of consciousness? So on a moonless night, is the moon there or is it not there? […] From this you can see how language works and how consciousness works as well.« In »Die Sonnenposition« (2013; tr: Sun Position), Poschmann reveals the »demons of information and the shadows of the human psyche« (»NZZ«) by way of a German family’s story. »Die Kieferninseln« (2017; tr: The Pine Islands), which was written after a three-month visit to Kyoto, is about a journeyman lecturer troubled by personal hardships who flees to Japan and, in accordance with the travelogues of the classic poet Bashō, wants to see the moon over the pine islands – one of the most beautiful places in Japan. He meets a student plagued by test anxiety and tempted by thoughts of suicide. Poschmann describes the two desperate characters’ shared, searching journey with a laconic, humorous tone, through all uncertainty and fragility that finds expression via the Japanese landscape. Poschmann’s experience in Japan also influenced the texts of her most recent poetry collection »Geliehene Landschaften« (2016; tr: Borrowed Landscapes). Using the Asian gardening term that lends the collection its title as her starting point, she traces different landscapes and scenic places, from Luna Park at Coney Island to the Finnish taiga.

Marion Poschmann has been awarded numerous prizes for her literary works, including, among others, the Literaturpreis Ruhrgebiet (2005), the Peter-Huchel-Preis (2011), the Wilhelm-Raabe-Literaturpreis (2013), the Düsseldorfer Literaturpreis (2017), and the German Prize for Nature Writing (2017). In connection with the Berliner Literaturpreis, in the 2018 summer semester she served as the Visiting Professor for German poetry at the Freie Universität. The author is a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature, the Mainz Academy for Science and Literature, the Free Academy of the Arts in Hamburg, and the German PEN Center.