Muenster Prize for two books by Charles Bernstein in German translation

The 2015 Prize of the State of Münster for International Poetry, the leading translation prize in Germany, has gone to two new translations:

 Gedichte und Übersetzen 
 tr. Versatorium and Peter Waterhouse
Vienna: Edition Korrespondenzen

Angriff der Schwierigen Gedichte 
tr. Tobias Amslinger , Norbert Lange, Léonce W. Lupette and Mathias Traxler
(based on All the Whiskey in Heaven, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)
Wiesbaden, Germany: Lux Books


The jury commented [rough translation]:
In his formally avant-garde, difficult and lucid poetic lyrics, Bernstein proposes a kind of poetry where experiment with literary form and genres is sovereign as well as risky and where there is strong emphasis on sound. His poetry includes intertextual assemblies, Dada-like sound poems, aleatoric works, songs, works of social criticism and verses that make a polemical intervention on the literary. The jury selected two volumes, both of which avoided a conventional approach to translation as an exact reproduction of the original poem. The two books put forward a different approach, for example, understanding translation as a creating poems in their own right.  
Since 1993, the city of Münster has awarded the poetry prize for a book of poetry and its translation. Prizewinners 2013 were the Caribbean Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and his German translator Werner von Koppenfels. 

Munster Prize web site 
pdf of Munster poetry festival 2015 and prize ceremony 


Franx Hoffner, Fixpoetry, (April 2015)
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Feb. 25 2015)
Elke Engelhardt, Fixpoetry (Dec. 4, 2013)
Jan Kuhlbrodt, Signaturen Magazine (2014)
Jan Kuhlbrodt, Signaturen Magazine (2014)
Volker Sielaff , (2014)
Harvard Crimson (April 15, 2014) (article on Waterhouse/Bernstein seminar)

Here is a poem from each book and below that to vdieo and audio recording of my reading with the translators in Vienna, Munich, and Berlin.

Berlin launch of the book on Nov. 21, 2014 at LiteratHausBerlin:
with Léonce W. Lupette, Tobias Amslinger, Bernstein, Norbert Lange & Mathias Traxler

of complete reading (2 hours)

(l to r): Tobias Amslinger, Norbert Lange, Charles Bernstein, Dennis Büscher-Ulbrich, Mathias Traxler in Berlin 2013

Alle Schnäpse des Himmels
Nicht für alle Schnäpse des Himmels
Nicht für alle Fliegen in Vermont
Nicht für alle Tränen im Untergeschoss
Nicht für eine Million Flüge zum Mars 

Nicht mal wenn du mir Diamanten zahlst
Nicht mal wenn du bezahlst in Perlen
Nicht mal wenn du mir deinen Stimmungsring gibst
Nicht mal wenn du mir deine Locken schenkst 

 Nicht für alle Höllenfeuer
Nicht für alles Blaue des Himmels
Nicht für mein eigenes Imperium
Nicht einmal für inneren Frieden 

Nein, nie, niemals höre ich auf, dich zu lieben
Nicht bis mein Herz aufhört zu schlagen
Und selbst dann, in meinen Worten und Liedern
Liebe ich dich wieder und wieder.
                                                (tr. Norbert Lange, Lux Books)

Peter Waterhouse (standing) and Versatorium

"Shaker" show tr. Astrid Nischkauer (from Versatorium collection)

Press notices:

Westfälische Nachrichten (includes jury's statement)

The jury:

Cultural Affairs minister Dr. Andrea Hanke (l).: author and publisher Johann P. Tammen, critic and editor Norbert Wehr, an advisor to Mayor Beate Vilhjalmsson, literary critic Cornelia Jentzsch, poet and literary critic Urs Allemann, und literary critic and editor Michael Braun. Photo: Presseamt Münster. Veröffentlichung mit dieser Pressemitteilung honorarfrei.

Other recordings of readings from both books at these links: