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The Art of Kunst

Selected Poems, Letters, and Other Writings by Thomas Kunst


Edited By Steven D. Martinson

This book introduces for the first time selected poetry, letters, and other writings by the German writer Thomas Kunst (Leipzig) to the English-speaking world. Given the many prestigious awards the writer has received for his poetry and the originality of his imaginative thinking, the Turkish-German writer Feridun Zaimoglu rightly called Kunst a great poet. Through his immersion in the poetry of Paul Celan, Georg Trakl, Nicolas Born, Thomas Brasch, and several South and North American writers, Thomas Kunst has acquired a distinctive voice and style that rival the most talented writers in Germany today. Music animates his creative writing. What he calls the instrumentation between music and language flows almost effortlessly from his experiences in the world, shaping the multifaceted textures of his writings. Readers will be struck by the author’s remarkable clarity of expression, precision, directness, and authenticity. «A poem is a poem for me only when the most ordinary things in it irritate me in the most intense ways.» Inner turbulence over the way things are, outer conflict, and the awareness of the ultimate irresolvability of pressing political concerns, everyday experience, knowledge of the classical heritage, and acute aesthetic sensibility unite to provide a unique and challenging reading experience.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Kunst, Thomas, author. | Martinson, Steven D., editor. | Kovach, Thomas A., translator. Title: The art of Kunst: selected poems, letters, and other writings / by Thomas Kunst; translated by Thomas A. Kovach, and edited with an introduction, interviews, and a glossary by Steven D. Martinson. Description: New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2016. | Series: American University studies I: Germanic languages and literature, ISSN 0721-1392; Vol. 112 | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2015041393 | ISBN 9781433130748 (hardcover: alk. paper) | ISBN 9781453918067 (e-book) Classification: LCC PT2671.U46 A2 2016 | DDC 831/.92—dc23 LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

Cover photo by Moritz Gagern

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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