Ernest Wichner


Ernest Wichner

Ernest Wichner was born in Guttenbrunn in the Banat in 1952. He studied German and Romanian literatures at the university in Timișoara. He is one of the founding members of the literary society Aktionsgruppe Banat, which was monitored and tracked by the Securitate. In 1975, he emigrated to West Berlin and continued his studies in German literature and political sciences at the Freie Universität. After many years on the staff of the Literaturhaus Berlin, Wichner became its director in 2017. Ernst Wichner’s literary writings include volumes of poetry and essays, as well as a multitude of complex adaptations and translations of Romanian writers, whose (re)discovery he often spurred.

Wichner’s poems display a broad spectrum of literary styles, tending to the Dadaistic, surreal, or humorous, in which embedded fragments of other writers—of Oskar Pastior, for example—always constitute an element of his profound self-reflection and reflection on language. He is also the editor of Oskar Pastior’s complete works.

In Heute Mai und morgen du (Today May and Tomorrow You), Wichner crosses eras, landscapes, and friendships. The selection from the volumes Steinsuppe (Stonesoup, 1988), Rückseite der Gesten (The Flipside of Gestures, 2003), bin ganz wie aufgesperrt (as if I were completely unlocked, 2010) und Neuschnee und Ovomaltine (New Snow and Ovomaltine, 2010) spans almost four decades and is rounded out with new and unpublished poems.

Sibylle Crammer summarized: “Ernest Wichner’s texts resolutely seek to connect to the tradition of the aesthetic avant-garde.” And according to the ORF: “It’s not the posturing that makes these poems great. It’s their quiet humor, their soft tone, their gaze into the world…”

Heute Mai und morgen du. Ausgewählte Gedichte. Schöffling & Co. 2022
bin ganz wie aufgesperrt. Gedichte. Das Wunderhorn 2010
Neuschnee und Ovomaltine. Gedichte. hochroth 2010


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024