Book Launch - The Vocation of Poetry : Durs Grünbein


“This extraordinary little volume offers a dazzling personal poetics as well as a sustained engagement with the origins of poetry itself. In tracing an arc from the landfills and forests of an East German childhood to the ‘global airspace of poetry’, it takes in a breathtaking poetic itinerary from the Classics to the present day. Emerging from the heart of the European tradition, every page is packed with insight, wit and linguistic surprises, superbly rendered in Michael Eskin’s supple English. But more than that: this is a volume with a mission. In reckoning with the possibilities of poetry, it sets out to show us a better way of being in the world: ‘a guide to thinking and feeling with precision ’. Written by one of the most exciting and thought-provoking writers of the moment, The Vocation of Poetry is essential reading for anyone interested in modern poetry or in modern life.”

Durs Grünbein (Author)

One of the world’s greatest living poets and essayists, Dresden-born Durs Grünbein has been the recipient of many national and international awards, including the Friederich Nietzsche prize, the Hölderlin Prize, The Berlin Literature Prize and the Georg Büchner Prize. Since 1988 when he published Grauzone morgens, a mordant reckoning with life in the former East Germany, he has published more than twenty books of poetry and prose. He holds the Chair for Poetics and Artistic Aesthetics at the Düsseldorf School of Fine Arts and lives in Berlin. Transaltions of his poetry by Michael Hofmann, Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry prize in 2006. His Descartes’ Devil: Three Meditations was translated by Anthea Bell for Upper West Side Philosophers Press, Inc.

Durs Grünbein

Michael Eskin (translator)

Michael Eskin is the cofounder and Vice President of Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc. – Studio & Publishing, and author of, among other books, the award-winning The DNA of Prejudice: On the One and the Many (2010). A former Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Michael Eskin has taught at the University of Cambridge and at Columbia university. He lectures regularly on cultural, philosophical, and literary subjects across the US and Europe – most recently, as a guest of the US Consulate General Germany, The Federation of German-American Clubs, and Limmud, an international organization fostering cross-cultural Jewish education.

Michael Eskin


The Long Room
New College
24 March 2011



Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc. – Studio & Publishing


The Vocation of Poetry - Durs Grünbein

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