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Last month we drew your attention to the big translation achievement by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn – The Collected Poems of Bertold Brecht (Norton, 2018), the most comprehensive English collection of Brecht’s poems to date – and took the chance to suggest some more German-language poetry in English translation.

In the wake of last week’s blog on French poetry in translation, we are keeping today to the European theme and returning to German-language translated poetry books, but with a specific country-focus. Here are our top three reading suggestions of recent poetry books in translation from German, specifically by modern and classic Austrian authors!

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Translation Thursday discount for an exclusive 30% off any of the books below by using the promotional code TRANSLATIONTHURSDAY at checkout on our website!

#1 Surrender to Night by Georg Trakl (Pushkin Press, 2019), translated by Will Stone – a new book of poems by this famous representative of Expressionism, famous for his war poems.

This collection features well-known work as well as a selection of the best of his uncollected one, an author’s biography, a critical introduction to his poems and a chronology of his life: the perfect way to explore Trakl’s time and work!

#2 All Under One Roof: Poems by Evelyn Schlag, translated by Karen Leeder (Carcanet Press, 2018) – Our PBS Summer 2018 Recommended Translation.

This book is a selection of two collections by this prize-winning Austrian poet and novelist, Sprache von einem anderen Holz (2008) and verlangsamte raserei (2014). It also includes an essay by Schlag about the sources, politics and strategies of her writing.

#3 Pure Contradictions: Selected Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke (Arc Publications, 2012, bilingual English / German edition), translated and introduced by Ian Crockatt.

This collection features poems from different stages in Rilke’s life. However, the originality of this collection lies in the fact that the poems are not arranged chronologically but per theme, drawing near poems which are rarely seen together.

To keep up-to-date with the newest poetry in translation, why not become a Poetry Book Society translation member? Every quarter you will receive our expert poet selector’s favourite new poetry in translation book, alongside a full commentary in our Bulletin.

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