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Dánnerstag contributions



“Dánnerstag” is a new and innovative poetry project by the Centre for Irish-German Studies and introduces German language poetry and its Irish language translations to a local, national, and international audience. ‘dán’ in Dánnerstag means poem in Irish, and ‘Donnerstag’ means Thursday in German. Supported by the German, Austrian and Swiss Embassies and the DAAD. It was launched on 2 September 2021, Goethe-Institut, Dublin. Project Leaders: Gisela Holfter, UL, and Sorcha de Brún, UL.


2 September 2021: Jan Wagner – Krähenghasele

Jan Wagner, a German poet and essayist, has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Wilhelm Lehmann Prize (2009), Leipzig Book Fair Prize (2015), and Georg Büchner Prize (2017). The poem is dedicated to Matthew Sweeney (1952-2018). Translated into English by UL students Daniel Kilbridge, Caoimhe Moriarty and Deirbhile Mellotte. Translated into Irish by Caoimhe Moriarty and Deirbhile Mellotte.>


17 September 2021: Paul Celan – Corona

Gabriel Rosenstock is one of the best-known Irish poets and translators working in the Irish language. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish Academy of Arts and Letters and has translated a multitude of German works into Irish. Translated into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock; into English by Pierre Joris.


7 October 2021: Ilma Rakusa – Wir müssen tanzen

Ilma Rakusa is a Swiss literary, novelist and poet and has won numerous awards for her work, such as the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize (2003), the Swiss Book Prize (2009), and the Kleist Prize (2019). Translated into English by Sue Vickerman and Gisela Holfter; into Irish by Sorcha de Brún.


22 October 2021: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Der Erlkönig/Rí na Síog

Written by 1782, the ballad tells the story of the death of a child, who is assailed by the Erlking, the king of fairies. The Erlkönigis regarded as one of Goethe’s (1749-1832) most famous ballads. Translated into Irish by Eoin McEvoy.


4 November 2021: Robert Schindel – In den Zügen sitzen

Robert Schindel is a prominent Austrian poet and has received several prizes including the Erich Fried Prize (1993) and the Heinrich Mann Prize (2014). “In den Zügen sitzen” was translated into English by Gisela Holfter and Sorcha de Brún; into Irish by Sorcha de Brún.


18 November 2021: Theodor Storm‚ Die Stadt

Theodor Storm (1817-1888) was one of the best known German writers in the 19th century and is seen as a representative of German literary realism. Born and brought up in the small seaside town of Husum at the North Sea, the coastal landscape played an important role in his novels and poetry. His poem “Die Stadt” which we introduce here is dedicated to his hometown. The poem is read by Gisela Holfter and Sorcha de Brún. Translated into English by Ally Forumgamer. Translated into Irish by Nora Murphy and Sorcha de Brún.


2 December 2021: Kathrin Schmidt – Sommerschaums Ernte

Kathrin Schmidt has worked as a psychologist, editor, and social scientist. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her literary work such as the Leonce and Lena Prize (1993), the Christine Lavant Prize, and the German Book Prize. The poem was translated into English by UL students Gráinne McNicholas, Daire Kennedy,Martyna Klawitter, Jane Kenny. Translated into Irish by UL student Emer Kavanagh.


16 December 2021: Heinrich Heine – Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen

Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856), author, journalist and poet, is regarded as one of the most in-fluential German writers of the 19th century. He is often viewed as the last representative of the Romantic movement. Translated into English by Louis Untermeyer. “Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen” (1822) was translated into Irish by Eibhlín Nic Niocaill in 1909 as “Thug buachaill óg grádh do chailín”, one of the first translations of a German poem into Irish. It is read by Joachim Fischer and Máire Ní Ghráda.


12 January 2022: Semier Insayif - ich dir

Semier Insayif is an Austrian writer and lives in Vienna as a writer of poetry and prose texts. He has been invited to many readings and performances in Austria and abroad and has been awarded numerous awards and grants. He has contributed to radio programmes and published in various literary magazines, art catalogues, and anthologies. He contributes ich dir to the Dánnerstag project.


26 January 2022: Hilde Domin - Bittersüßer Mandelbaum

Hilde Domin (1909 - 2006) was a German lyricist and poet from Cologne who had to go into exile during the Nazi period, spending 14 years in the Dominican Republic. She returned to Heidelberg in 1954 and was awarded with a myriad of literary prizes including the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Literary Prize (1995) and the Jakob-Wassermann Literary Prize (1999). Her poem "Bittersüßer Mandelbaum" (1962) was translated into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock and into Englisch by Hans-Christian Oeser and is read here by Gisela Holfter and Sorcha de Brún for Dánnerstag.


03 February 2022: Kerstin Hensel - Meine Welt

Kerstin Hensel is a particularly versatile German writer, having published numerous books in a variety of genres including novels, short stories, poetry and plays. Among the many literary prizes she was awarded are the Anna Seghers Prize (1987), the Leonce-und-Lena-Preis (1991) and the Lessing Prize (1997). Since 2001 she is professor at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts. The poem “Meine Welt” which she has contributed to Dánnerstag was first published in the poetry volume Alle Wetter (Munich: Sammlung Luchterhand 2008). Translated into English and Irish by UL students Saoirse Jenkinson, Ailish Finan, Sarah Daly, Katie Keogh, Kate Delaney, Jennifer Ruffini, Caoimhe O’Sullivan.


25 February 2022: Sisi of Austria - Widmung

Elisabeth (1837-1898) was a daughter of Duke Maximilian and Duchess Ludovika of Bavaria. In 1854 she married Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I and became Empress of Austria. In 1867 she was crowned Queen of Hungary. Known for her excellent riding skills, she enjoyed hunting on her trips to Ireland in 1879 and 1880 and described them as some of her happiest times. She was stabbed to death by an anarchist in 1898 in Geneva. Her poem "Widmung" was part of the "Nordsee Lieder", written in the mid-1880s and inspired by the North Sea and Heine's poem cycle dedicated to it. The poem was translated into English and Irish by Sorcha de Brún and is read here by Natascha Guggi and Robert Henneberg.


03 March 2022: Gabrielle Alioth - Bitte (Achaini)

Gabrielle Alioth is a Swiss author of novels, short stories, children's books, travelogues and poems. She has been resident in Ireland since 1984. In 2020 she was awarded the Cultural Prize of Riehen. Gabrielle Alioth is a member of the Association of Authors of Switzerland and the PEN Center of German-Speaking Authors Abroad. Her poetry volume The poet's coat was published in 2019.She will be reading her poem Bitte [Achainí]– which is premiered here at Dánnerstag. Translated into English by Gabrielle Alioth and Irish by Seán Keane.


17 March Friedrich Hölderlin - Diotima

Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) was a German poet and philosopher. He is seen one of the most important lyricists of his time. He was a friend of Hegel and Schelling. Much of Hölderlin's late poetry is based on historical themes and mythical memory and he refines the relationship between Greek and Christian religiosity. The poem presented here, Diotima (1797-1799) was translated into Irish by Isobel Ni Riain and is read here by her and Michael Kelly.


07 April 2022: Nadja Küchenmeister - Staub

Berlin writer Nadja Küchenmeister has published three poetry volumes in Germany to high acclaim: Alle Lichter (2010), Unter dem Wacholder (2014) and Im Glasberg (2020). Unlike most other contemporary poets her work has been translated into English and Irish already some years ago by Hans-Christian Oeser and Gabriel Rosenstock. All three came to Limerick to perform a trilingual reading of their work in November 2015. For Dánnerstag, Nadja Küchenmeister chose staub [dust / dusta]  from their volume Unter dem Wacholder / Faoin Aiteal / Under the Juniper Tree (2015). Translated into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock and into English by Hans-Christian Oeser.


28 April 2022: Rainer Maria Rilke - Duino Elegien (excerpt)

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was a German poet and writer. He is considered one of the most important representatives of literary modernism, whereby his works can be assigned to impressionism and symbolism, but sometimes also take up motifs from Art Nouveau. His literary works include works in prose and lyrical products, but also some essays on art and literature. Translated by the late Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s (whose 100th birthday would have been on 4th April 2022) into English and Irish. Read by Billy O’Connor and Prof. Kerstin Mey, UL President.


19 May 2022: René Böll - Cilliní

René Böll is a visual artist with a strong connection to Ireland. He first went to Achill Island, Co. Mayo in 1955 as a child, after his father, Nobel Prize winning author Heinrich Böll, had explored Ireland the year before. The family spent many months on Achill over the years and it has become a second home for René Böll. In 2020 the first “Ambassador of Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day Award” was conferred upon him by the Irish Embassy in Berlin for his work promoting German-Irish relations and his ongoing support for the annual Heinrich Böll weekend. He has spent many years researching cilliní, the uninscribed graves of unbaptised children, and has been inspired by them both in his visual art and in the form of poetry, with which he contributes to Dánnerstag. His poem Cilliní was translated by Michael Augustin und Gabriel Rosenstock.
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