Joachim Sartorius Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2013.


Atlas der neuen Poesie

[Als Herausgeber]


Reinbek, 1995

Hôtel des Étrangers



Köln, 2008

Die Prinzeninseln


Hamburg, 2009

Mein Zypern. Die Geckos von Bellapais


Hamburg, 2013

Niemals eine Atempause

Handbuch der politischen Poesie im 20. Jahrhundert

Kiepenheuer & Witsch

Köln, 2014

Joachim Sartorius [ Germany ]

Joachim Sartorius was born in 1946 in Fürth. His father was a diplomat and consequently Sartorius visited schools in Tunisia, Congo and Cameroon. From 1964 to 1971, Sartorius studied law in Munich, London, Strasbourg and Paris. After completing his doctorate of Law in 1973, he worked in diplomatic services until 1986 – as a cultural referent in New York, a press aide in Ankara and ultimately as an envoy in Nicosia (Cyprus) among others. In the following years, he managed the artist programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), was the general secretary of the Goethe-Institute in Munich and took over directorship of the Berliner Festspiele from 2001 to 2011. Literarily, Sartorius emerged as a poet, editor and translator. He translated poems by John Ashbery, Wallace Stevens, Louis Dudek, and Robert Gray from English to German, among others. Furthermore, he published the complete works of Malcolm Lowry and of William Carlos Williams. In “Atlas der neuen Poesie” (1995; t: “Atlas of New Poetry”), arguably the most extensive contemporary venture in poetry, Sartorius located poems from 33 countries and in 22 languages where translations as well as original versions were printed. “Niemals eine Atempause” (t: “Never a Pause for Breath”), a guide to political poetry in the 20th century, followed in 2014. Apart from seven volumes of poetry, most recently “Hôtel des Étrangers” (2008), Sartorius also wrote poetic travel books: “Die Prinzeninseln” (2009; t: “The Princes’ Islands”) and “Mein Zypern” (2013; t: “My Cyprus”). A reviewer of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called the former title a “very personal mini epic with autobiographical episodes full of poetry and subtle political observations which does not only transport his readers to the Princes’ Islands but also introduces them to the remains of a Turkish lifestyle of whose existence far too few of us know”. In “Mein Zypern”, Sartorius draws on his diplomatic experiences as well and frequently adds information on the history and culture of the island, ending the book with an appendix full of poems. Furthermore, he is the editor of the magazine “Sprache im technischen Zeitalter” (t: “Language in the Technical Age”) together with Norbert Miller. Sartorius is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. He is also on the jury of the Friedrich-Gundolf-Prize which is awarded annually. After being awarded with a scholarship by the Rockefeller foundation in 1992 as well as the Paul-Scheerbart-Prize in 1999, Sartorius was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2011. He lives in Berlin and Syracuse.