Poetry. Translated from the German by Marc Vincenz. Observing the smallest movements across the moor from her bedroom window, Erika Burkart gives us passage into the innermost recesses of her mind. In a fleeting moment of observation, language, thought and intention are all intertwined. These deeply nuanced poems beautifully translated by Cliff Becker Prize finalist, Marc Vincenz, perceive waves of heat, feel the weight of snowflakes, hear the gentle rumblings within a tree or sense the intention of a bird in flight. In this, the last collection she saw published in her lifetime, Erika Burkart offers us a SECRET LETTER that contains the key to entering her world of poetry. This is the sensory, transcendental, far-reaching word-magic of a woman to whom poetry was the breath of life.
Swiss poet Erika Burkart (1922-2010) has been compared to the likes of Ingeborg Bachmann, Friedericke Mayröcker, and Rainer Maria Rilke. During the latter half of her lifetime, the Swiss literary establishment perceived her not only as the grande dame of German-Swiss poetry, but also as an elusive, metaphysical, at times eccentric enigma of contemporary German-language literature. Born in Aarau, Switzerland, Burkart published over 24 collections of poetry and nine prose works, writing for the most part in the house of her childhood (the former summer house of the Prince-Abbot of Muri), Haus Kapf in Althäusern, Aargau, which was run as a tavern by Erika's parents.Burkart received numerous literary prizes during her lifetime, including the Johann-Peter-Hebel-Preis (1978), the Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart- Preis (1990), the Joseph- Breitbach-Preis (2002), and the Gottfried-Keller-Preis (1992). To date, she is the only woman ever to have been awarded Switzerland's highest literary prize, the Grosser Schiller-Preis (2005).Born in Hong Kong, Marc Vincenz is the author of nine collections of original poetry; his latest are This Wasted Land, and Its Chymical Illuminations (Lavender Ink, 2015), Becoming the Sound of Bees (Ampersand Books, 2015) and Sibylline, a book-length poem (Ampersand Books, 2016). The Washington Independent Review of Books recently called Vincenz "[a] peripatetic linguist... [he] prospers through travel like a psychoactive medicine man. Each poem is an open environment where anything can happen-a ceremony of advanced thinking-where a pilgrim of great altitudes accepts life's vagaries." Vincenz is also the translator of many German-language poets, including the Herman Hesse Prize winner, Klaus Merz, Werner Lutz, Erika Burkart, Alexander Xaver Gwerder, Robert Walser and Jörg Amman, and has published ten collections of translations—the latest is A Late Recognition of the Signs by Erika Burkart. His translatAuthor City: ZURICH SWI