Michael Lentz


Michael Lentz

Born in 1964, Michael Lentz studied German Literature, History, and Philosophy and received his doctorate 1999 with a two-volume dissertation on sound poetry and music after 1945. In 2001, he won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize with his text Muttersterben (Mother’s Death). In May 2006, he was named a chaired professor of literary writing at the German Literary Insitute of Leipzig, where he remains today. Lentz co-edited the literary journal Neue Rundschau. Since 2014, he has been a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature. He lives in Berlin and Leipzig.

Michael Lentz’s performances are powerful, precisely staged, and always unpredictable confrontations with the German language. Human beings try, using the limited means of language, to express something as a meaningful experience—Michael Lentz manages to do this in an unusually vivid and accessible way, according to the jury statement of the Literature Houses’ Prize. Lentz doubts the word’s power to name and relies on language as language and not on languages as a descriptive mechanism. What this yields in his poetic process is brittle, obstinate, yet very clever and witty speech and writing. A dose of (linguistic)doubt, administered in this fashion, has never done anyone any harm.

An SWR broadcast stated, “Michael Lentz is without a doubt a language juggler, a gifted language artist.”

Chora. Gedichte. S. Fischer 2023
Schattenfroh. Ein Requiem. Roman. S. Fischer 2018
Pazifik Exil. Roman. S. Fischer 2007

In Leukerbad Michael Lentz will also perform together with the two musicians Michael Wertmüller and Marino Pliakas. Place and time see detailed program


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024