Kathrin Schmidt


Born in the German Democratic Republic in 1958, Schmidt received two poetry awards while still a student. Upon graduating she worked as a social scientist, then a child psychologist and also editor. Following the 1989 revolution Schmidt represented the United Left at Berlin city’s round-table discussions on Germany’s unification, describing this later as a dreadful men’s club. She began editing the East Berlin women’s magazine Ypsilon, though when new West Berlin women co-workers were taken on, ideological clashes occurred. On receiving the prestigious Leonce-and-Lena Prize in 1993 she began writing full-time and was soon being showered with accolades.
By 2009 Kathrin Schmidt had established herself as a poet and novelist of note, having four novels already in print and with several prestigious awards to her name for her poetry volumes. Schmidt then won the 2009 German Book Prize (pipping to the post fellow-shortlisted Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller) for her astonishing novel You’re not dying, about returning to life after a cerebral hemorrhage. She has since accrued a huge readership both at home and internationally, the novel having been translated into thirteen languages. Her poetry collection Blinde Bienen, published shortly after, was also very well reviewed. In 2011, to further critical acclaim, Schmidt’s first and to-date only collection of short stories, It’s over. Don’t go there, was published.

Translations of Kathrin Schmidt’s work
Twenty poems transl. Sue Vickerman, Arc Publications, UK, 2020
You’re not dying, novel, transl. Christine Les, Naked Eye Publishing UK, 2021
It’s over. Don’t go there. Short story collection, transl. Sue Vicker,man, Naked Eye Publishing, UK, due out autumn 2021
Novels in German
Die Gunnar-Lennefsen-Expedition, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1998
Königs Kinder, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2002
Seebachs schwarze Katzen, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2005
Kapoks Schwestern, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2005
Du Stirbst Nicht, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2009
Poetry books in German
Poesiealbum 179, Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben, 1982
Ein Engel fliegt durch die Tapetenfabrik, Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben, 1987
Flußbild mit Engel, Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1995; reprinted in the series Lyrikedition 2000, Munich: Allitera Verlag, 2000
Go-in der Belladonnen, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2000
Blinde Bienen, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2010
Waschplatz der kühlen dinge, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2018
Prizes and awards
1978 Förderpreis der Poetenbewegung der Freie Deutsche Jugend
1981 Becher-Diplom des Kulturbundes der DDR
1993 Leonce-und-Lena-Preis
1994 Lyrikpreis der Stadt Meran
1997 Förderpreis zum Hans-Erich-Nossack-Preis
1998 Förderpreis des Heimito-von-Doderer-Preises
1998 Preis des Landes Kärnten (beim Ingeborg-Bachmann-Wettbewerb)
1999 Förderpreis zum Christine-Lavant-Preis
2001 Deutscher Kritikerpreis
2003 Droste-Preis der Stadt Meersburg
2009 Preis der SWR-Bestenliste for her novel ‘You’re not dying’
2009 Deutscher Buchpreis for her novel ‘You’re not dying’
2010 Stipendium der Deutschen Akademie Rom in der Villa Massimo
2011 Novi Sad International Literature Award for Poetry
2011 Preis der Stahlstiftung Eisenhüttenstadt
2012 Arbeitsstipendium des Deutschen Literaturfonds
2012 Aufenthaltsstipendium der Sinecure Landsdorf (angetreten 2014)
2013 Thüringer Literaturpreis
2016 Christine-Lavant-Preis

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