Ulrike Almut Sandig

Ulrike Almut Sandig was born in 1979 and lives in Berlin. She studied Religious Studies and Modern Indology as well as studying at the Institute for German Literature in Leipzig, and was co-editor of the literary magazine EDIT. She is the author of stories, poems, radio pieces and language performances, where she collaborates closely with musicians and composers. Ulrike Almut Sandig has been invited to many international literary festivals, exchanges and residencies. Her poems have been widely anthologised and received, among other awards, the renowned Leonce-and-Lena Prize. In 2015, Ugly Duckling Presse (Brooklyn, USA) launched a selection of her early poems in Bradley Schmidt’s translation. In 2018, the publishing venture Seagull Books is going to release her book Thick of it, in translation by Karen Leeder.

Photo: Wolfgang Frank


A Double-Voiced Bird »

A collaboration workshop and performance

Sat 10 March | 11:00 - 13:00 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Upstairs Foyer

A Double-Voiced Bird in Performance »

A performance emerging from our collaborative poetry workshop

Sat 10 March | 13:00 - 13:10 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

In Performance »

From Belgium, New Zealand and Germany, three exciting voices launch out across boundaries

Sat 10 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £5.50/£4.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Poetry Cafe: Festival Plenary »

Help us to wrap up StAnza 2018

Sun 11 March | 20:00 - 21:30 | £5.00/£4.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre


[I am a double-voiced bird with a human face]

I say everything twice,
do everything twice. I repeat

everything: each mistake
and every betrayal, always twice: TEST!

TEST! I am a double-voiced bird
with a human face

and it’s hard to tell I’m an odd
bird at all, when I sit in the fern tree

and double-clink, double-
crunch and grind

and creak with my beak. I am
a travel company luring

you South, as if happiness
really is buried below the equator.

but don’t be deceived! I can't
be trusted or if I can then

only twice. you can't be
helped, not even once.

I’m a little two-legged teapot
wearing my father’s

black cassock, his white collar
and I carry with me

my mother’s girlhood dreams.
when I leave you, it’s

always twice:

once in the South, just as a test
and once STOP! in the Northwest.

Ulrike Sandig Almut, tr. Hinemoana Baker

German original published in ich bin ein Feld voller Raps verstecke die Rehe und leuchte wie dreizehn Ölgemälde übereinandergelegt (Schöffling & Co, 2016). Translated during the translation workshop Venustransit, Verstransit (Berlin, October 2012).