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, three pop music albums, radio pieces and four volumes of her poetry have been published to date. For her performances she works with composers and performance artists, such as Hinemoana Baker (NZ), Alif (IND) and Grigory Semenchuk (UKR). 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“ (Seagull Books, 2018) won the English PEN translation Pitch and have been awarded with an PEN America/Heim Translation Fund Grant. In 2018 Sandig and Grigory Semenchuk aka Poetry-Band „Landschaft“ published their debut album with Schöffling & Co (Berlin). Meanwhile Hurst Street Press (Oxford/London, UK) launched a cycle from Sandig’s latest poetry collection in Karen Leeder’s translation. „Grimm“ reanimates the dark side of The Children’s and Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm and uses it as a backdrop for contemporary European concerns: war, migration, the rise of the Right. Ulrike Almut Sandig is a member of the German PEN section.

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

More info about the author

In Poetry


Poems. 36 pages. Published by Hurst Street Press Oxford London 2018
Translated by Karen Leeder
Order here.

This cycle refers to The Children’s and Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm, first published in two volumes in 1812 and 1815 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. It reanimates the dark side of Grimm and uses it as a backdrop for a very contemporary European concerns: war, migration, the rise of the Right.

Karen Leeder is a writer, critic and translator. She is Professor of Modern German Literature at New College, Oxford. In 2015 she was awarded the English PEN translation Pitch for her translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s poetry. Here’s to her website.

Thick of it

Poems. 80 pages. Published by Seagull Books Calcutta New York London 2018
Translated by Karen Leeder
Read the review on Asymptote (It’s worth scrolling down).
Order here.

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 Music


Beatz & Verses with Grigory Semenchuk.
Music CD. 45 minutes. Published Schöffling & Co Frankfurt am Main 2018.
Produced by Klangkosmonauten Berlin 2018.

Listen online.
More info on Landschaft.
Read this review from Oleksandr Kobalchuk (You will need Google translate)

Landschaft aka Grigory Semenchuk (Lviv) & Ulrike Almut Sandig (Berlin) stirr their German and Ukrainian poems with hip hop, elektropunk and pop music. Enjoy the sound of poetry.

In Prose


Buch gegen das Verschwinden (Against Disappearance)

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

Peter Thompson’s sample translation of the story „About our Absence“.
Review in New Books in German
More info & press comments

Amid the unrest in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, a young journalist tries to cast off the expectations of his mother, who was bitten by the travel bug after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. A hiker gets lost in the ancient, enchanted forests of the Engadine during a snowstorm. A little girl is flown by her grandmother to the end of the world during the transit of Venus. Where their traces lead is one of the many puzzles of these stories.

In her colourful and poetic prose, Ulrike Almut Sandig describes places that only appear to be gone. In reality they live on in the experiences of the elderly and the hopes of the younger generation. Relationships are buffeted by the storms of these stories, and deceptive certainties come unravelled. In her new book, Ulrike Almut Sandig uses the magic of storytelling to prevent whole worlds disappearing from our consciousness.

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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For further information on the author, bookings and to
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Schöffling & Co.
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Kathrin Scheel
phone: +49 69 92 07 87 16
fax: +49 69 92 07 87 20