In Real Life

Ulrike Almut Sandig was born in Großenhain (GDR) in 1979 and now lives with her family in Berlin. She started publishing her poetry by pasting poems onto lamp posts in Leipzig and spreading them on flyers and free post cards. After completing her Magister in Religious Studies and Modern Indology, she subsequently graduated from the German Creative Writing Program Leipzig. Two prose books and four volumes of her poetry have been published to date. Previous publications include radio plays and audio-books of poetry and pop music. For her performances she works with various composers and musical artists. Ulrike Almut Sandig has been invited to many international literary festivals and exchanges, been granted a literary residency in Helsinki and Sydney, and her fiction and poetry has been widely anthologized. In spring 2015 she was Writer in Residence at the University of Nottingham. In 2015 Ugly Duckling Presse (Brooklyn, USA) launched a selection of her early poems in Bradley Schmidt’s translation. In 2016 Karen Leeder’s stunning translations of Sandig’s latest poetry „Thick of it“ won the English PEN translation Pitch and have been awarded with an PEN America/Heim Translation Fund Grant.

„Ulrike Almut Sandig is a master storyteller who writes in beautiful poetic prose.“ New Books in German

More info about the author

In English

Thick of it

Poems. Published by Seagull Books Calcutta New York London 2018
Translated by Karen Leeder
Out in March 2018!
Pre-order now.

The poems of Ulrike Almut Sandig are at once simple and fantastic. This new collection finds her on her way to imaginary territories. Thick of It charts a journey through two hemispheres to “the center of the world” and navigates a “thicket” that is at once the world, the psyche, and language itself. The poems explore an urgently urban reality, but that reality is interwoven with references to nightmares, the Bible, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes—all overlaid with a finely tuned longing for a disappearing world. The old names are forgotten, identities fall away; things disappear from the kitchen; everything is sliding away. Powerful themes emerge, but always mapped onto the local, the fractured individual in “the thick of it” all. This is language at its most crafted and transformative, blisteringly contemporary, but with a kind of austerity, too. By turns comic, ironic, skeptical, nostalgic, these poems are also profoundly musical, exploiting multiple meanings and stretching syntax, so that the audience is constantly kept guessing, surprised by the next turn in the line.

In Prose


Against Disappearance

Stories. Published by Schöffling & Co. Frankfurt / M. 2015.

Review in New Books in German

More info & press comments

Peter Thompson’s sample translation of the story „About our Absence“.

A short film by Harald Opel based on this book:

In Poetry


Poems. Published by Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung. Leipzig 2007.

Jane Gibian’s translations on Shampoo Poetry.
Bradley Schmidt’s translations on
in summer the elderly sit
my heimat
on a sinking ship
russian woods
in july
was the table, was the chair
was sky
let it lie

Bradley Schmidt’s translation on no man’s land:
this draught from talk (issue 5/2010)
the russian woods (issue 6/2011)

A spoken word impro with Grigory Semenchuk based on a poem in this book, Kiev 2015:

A poetryfilm by Harald Opel based on a poem in this book:



Poems. Published by Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung. Leipzig 2005 / 2009.

In Music

March forest

Poetry in Music with Marlen Pelny.
Published by Schöffling & Co. 2011.

In a Workshop

Translation Workshop at Queen’s College in Oxford (UK) for the literary magazine Modern poetry in Translation:

In a Postbox

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Kathrin Scheel
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