23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Silke Scheuermann

The poet and author Silke Scheuermann was born in Karlsruhe in 1973. After finishing school she studied Theatre and Literature in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Paris. It was in the city on the Seine where she began to write at age twenty. Along with reviews she published poems and short stories in journals and anthologies. “I searched long for my authorial voice”, she says. In 2001 Silke Scheuermann was awarded the Leonce and Lena Prize, the most distinguished prize for up and coming German poets, issued by the city of Darmstadt. The jury based their decision on the “melody of ironic melancholy”, among other attributes, in her work and praised the “autonomy of tone” in her poetry. That same year came Silke Scheuermann’s debut, a volume of poetry entitled „Der Tag an dem die Möwen zweistimmig sangen“ (t: The Day on Which the Seagulls Sang in Two Voices).

Silke Scheuermann’s imaginative poems often revolve around the subject of love, although not the state of being in love but rather the period that follows, during which love fizzles out, or the ways in which something that was once beautiful and great goes awry. A further theme addresses the communication between those in love, the hush, the discussing to death, the sceptical view of a shared future. The poet places a “You” opposite the lyrical “I”, yet the privateness of both is referenced beyond that. “And in so doing, she manages to conduct this apparently private dialogue in such a way that the person speaking in the poem is left to become a character and that her addressing is to become a prospective content for all of us” (Kurt Drawert, Neuen Zuercher Zeitung). The verses rush across the page without commas or periods as the poet constructs precise and, at times, unexpected comical images. Every now and then she creates an initially sensitive figure which in the next moment is ironically foiled. “My hand / That fear has ruined through stroking / Saves you / With love and cleaning fluid.” Scheuermann plays creatively with the possibilities of language: repetitive elements, alliteration and similar echoes come together to produce a new individual melody. Thanks to their narrative elements, Silke Scheuermann’s poems allow themselves to be read as little stories. In 2004 a further volume of poetry, „Der zärtlichste Punkt im All“ (t: The most Tender Point in the Orbit), appeared, and one year later a collection of short stories entitled “Reiche Mädchen” (t: Rich Girls).

With her latest novel, “Die Stunde zwischen Hund und Wolf” (2006; t: The Hour between Dog and Wolf), she placed herself “into the front row of young writers”, as the magazine “Die Zeit” put it. With laconic and cool language, she describes the touching relationship of two different sisters who as adults become attached to each other after a long period of alienation. As in the poems, love is the main subject of the novel. It is the love of both sisters that paradoxically grows despite of their loving the same man.

Scheuermann is coeditor of “The Poetry Yearbook 2007” and a member of the jury of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The author lives in Frankfurt am Main.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin


Der  Effekt
Berlin Verlag
Berlin, 2001

Der Tag, an dem die Möwen zweistimmig sangen
Frankfurt/Main, 2001

Der zärtlichste Punkt im All
Frankfurt/Main, 2004

Reiche Mädchen
Frankfurt/Main, 2005

Die Stunde zwischen Hund und Wolf
Frankfurt/Main 2006