“A dedication to those, who did not travel but fled, to those who did not survive. A lament – a eulogy.”
FROM THE LAUDATION FOR THE GERTRUD KOLMAR DEMAND PRIZE
“we will read the detonation backwards.” In Ronya Othmann’s long-awaited first volume of poetry, words do many things. They know no boundaries – in terms of time, desire or geography. They salvage and mourn stories of lives buried under conventions and cultures.
There has been much talk about Ronya Othmann’s debut novel Die Sommer, as well as her literary essays, political columns and the poems she has presented at various readings. “Where does poetry go?” asked Nico Bleutge in his laudation for Ronya Othmann at the Open Mike Poetry Prize, and answered with an image: “It seethes, it rubs your skin the wrong way.” Resistant yet vulnerable and intimate in every way, these existential poems carry the reader into the present with a new tone. The world’s cruellest atrocities and pure happiness, the strangeness of one’s own life and the never-ending homesickness come together in everything that “you know when you close your eyes”.