Matthias Göritz

Matthias Göritz is a poet, translator, and novelist. He has published four collections of poetry (Loops, Pools, Tools and Spools), four novels, including Der kurze Traum des Jakob Voss (2005), Parker (2018) and Die Sprache der Sonne (C. H. Beck 2023), and three short stories. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis and has translated, among others, works by John Ashbery, Rae Armantrout, Mary Jo Bang, Max Porter, Boris Pahor, and Ales Šteger. Göritz has received numerous prizes, including the Hamburg Literary Prize, the Mara Cassens Prize, the Robert Gernhardt Prize, the William Gass Prize and, most recently, the international Pretnar Prize, 2022. Göritz’s own books have been translated into many languages.

Slovenia may be a small country, but its poetry is great. According to Peter Handke, "Slovenians write their history not by means of their war heroes, but by means of their poets." And indeed, few European countries have such a density of literary creation as Slovenia, inhabited by just 2 million people, where some 6,000 books are published annually, 400 of them poetry collections.

Worldrenowned Slovenian poets - from Srečko Kosovel, to Dane Zajc, to Tomaž Šalamun - bear witness to the relevance of the poetic. Poets are not only still said to have great political commitment, it is downright expected of them. Even the singer Patti Smith has chosen a fine little poem by Kosovel as her favorite:

Jaz bi hodil
v majhnem plašču

Ali pod tem naj se skriva
topel, svetál svet.

Kaj je bogastvo?
Kaj je razkošje?
Zame je eno:
majhen plašč imam
in ta plašč ni nobenemu

Majhen plašč – Srečko Kosovel -

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