Anja Utler’s poems touch the ground where feeling and thinking begin to take form and burst from the body, burst into language. Their interweaving pulls us into an almost still undifferentiated, preconscious world where the human body and the surrounding landscape are fused. Stretching syntax and semantics, Utler's poems trace speech to its roots in lungs, throat, tongue, and let it emerge as sound and song.
Anja Utler was born in Schwandorf (Germany) in 1973, studied Slavic and English Literature as well as speech therapy, and now lives in Vienna and Regensburg. münden — entzüngeln (2004), our present volume, received the coveted Leonce-und-Lena Prize for poetry. Newer books are brinnen (2006) and jana, vermacht (2009), all published by Edition Korrespondenzenin Vienna.
"Riveting in English... The tension is everywhere rippling, ripping, wrinkling"
“Utler’s small but epochal masterpiece.”
—Thomas Poiss, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“An astonishing work for a young poet, startlingly assured in the way that it bores down into the language and allows the language itself to become an actor in the unfolding of the poem's 'story', rather than simply an accomplice.”
— Tony Frazer, Shearsman
"This is very rare: Anja Utler feels/senses the language. That’s why her writing is so tough, so lightning-brilliant, so precise in its empathy. Hence the sibylline clarity and the startling wealth of her poem.”
Kurt Beals has translated stories by Alexander Kluge and Sarah Alina Grosz as well as poems by Ernst Jandl. He is currently getting a Ph.D. in German at the University of California, Berkeley.
“An astonishingly smart and yet deeply sensuous book.”
—Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung