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Evelyn Schlag

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  • Evelyn Schlag (born 1952) grew up in Waidhofen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria. She studied German and English at the University of Vienna before becoming a teacher in Vienna and, later, in her home town of Waidhofen. She has published a wide range of poetry, prose and short stories since 1981 as well as translations (notably of Douglas Dunn) and essays. An English-language Selected Poems, translated by Karen Leeder, was published by Carcanet in 2004, and an English translation of her novel Die Kränkung (Quotations of a Body), translated by Willy Riemer, appeared in 1998. Schlag’s works have been greeted with much critical acclaim, and she has received many awards, including the 1988 Bremer Förderpreis, the 1997 Anton Wildgans Prize, and the Otto Stoessl Prize in 1998. She was Lecturer for Poetry at the Institut für Sprachkunst (2010/2011) and a Member of the Judging Panel for Dublin’s IMPAC Prize 2012. In 2012 she was selected to represent Austria in the Poetry Parnassus (held at the Southbank Centre, London). She is a member of the Graz Literary Academy. She was awarded the Austrian Art Prize for Literature in 2015.
     'A poet whose attitude and method are equally fascinating.'
    Dilys Wood, Artemis Poetry
    'With such an eclectic display of witty, moving and inventive poetry in All Under One Roof, Evelyn Schlag has once again proved herself to be a very fine poet. Her themes jump from the Euro tunnel to Paula Radcliffe to her first plaits, but her overarching theme is love in all its guises.'
    Emma Quick, The London Magazine

     'The careful translation by Karen Leeder of every aspect of Schlag's writing is essential in understanding the depth of each image and metaphor(...) I am struck by how much these poems affect me despite their apparent simplicity. In the poem "We Did Not Carry" for example, Schlag writes "Absence hurts from wherever you are", and the lines sliced through to my core, and I am relieved to know that, through the medicine of her words, that I am not the only one trying to make sense of the heaviness of life.'

    Sarah Warren, World Literature in Review

      'Witty, tender, occasionally baffling, often sexy, this is a selection from her two latest collections, Language of a Different Stripe (2008) and Racing in Slo-Mo (2014)... moving in startling leaps and bounds, these poems are anything but slo-mo.'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    Poetry Book of the Month, June 2018
    'The beauty of it (in the translation) lies in the precision of tone and detail that opens onto a world of irony and ambiguity that is, nonetheless, serious and tender. Poems on politics, persona and place are treated with the same quizzical sharp-tenderness. We have entered a realm beyond the confines of the apparently simple theme.The power of the book lies in its ability constantly to move us further yet deeper. Leeder's language has a sinuosity and flow that is utterly convincing.'
    George Szirtes, Poetry Book Society Summer Bulletin 2018

     'The poems are in some ways difficult, but by the same measure they are deeply engaging. Especially if, like me, you enjoy ambiguity and enigma. The poems are set in the concrete world, but their language turns our minds away from it... Schlag's poetry is captivating for its very embrace of the unfixed and the slippery. Leeder's translation does tremendous work carrying this through to English.'
    Joe Darlington, The Manchester Review of Books
    Awards won by Evelyn Schlag Winner, 2018 The Hay Festival Medal for Poetry Winner, 2018 Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation
    (All Under One Roof)
    Winner, 2005  Schlegel-Tieck Prize For German Translation
    (Selected Poems)
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