Kathrin Schmidt

photograph: Dirk Skiba

Kathrin Schmidt had a stroke on the day her second novel went to print. Awaking after two weeks in a coma she found herself suffering from partial paralysis, memory loss and Broca’s aphasia owing to brain damage. The brain haemorrhage altered Schmidt’s use of language: ‘Before, I could pluck words from a tree; now, I have to search for them. It’s a different type of writing.’
Born in the German Democratic Republic in 1958, Schmidt received two poetry awards as a student, then worked as a social scientist, child psychologist and editor. Following the 1989 revolution Schmidt represented the United Left in what she later described as a dreadful men’s club of round-table discussions on Germany’s reunification. Schmidt 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 she began writing full-time and has since been showered with accolades, including the crown of the German Book Prize for ‘You’re Not Dying’.

Other translations of Kathrin Schmidt’s work
Twenty poems transl. Sue Vickerman, Arc Publications, UK, 2020
It’s over. Don’t go there. Short story collection, transl. Sue Vickerman, Naked Eye Publishing, UK, due out 2022

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

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

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