Poet Monika Rinck Wins 2021 Berlin Literature Prize

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The honor comes with an appointment as Freie Universität Berlin’s visiting professor of German poetry at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature

No 024/2021 from Feb 10, 2021

At an award ceremony held on the evening of Tuesday, February 9, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Chair of the Council of the Preußische Seehandlung Foundation, Michael Müller, presented the Berlin Literature Prize to poet Monika Rinck. Under the terms of the award, Ms. Rinck was also appointed by the president of Freie Universität Berlin, Professor Günter M. Ziegler, as visiting professor of German poetry at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, a position sponsored by the Preußische Seehandlung Foundation. The ceremony was held at Berlin City Hall with a limited number of participants due to the ongoing pandemic. Berlin-based author Angelika Meier gave the laudatory speech.

Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senator for Higher Education and Research, and Chair of the Council of the Preußische Seehandlung Foundation Michael Müller said in his speech: "This much-coveted award is being presented tonight to Monika Rinck, one of the most prominent voices in contemporary German poetry. I am delighted that a poet from our city is receiving the recognition she deserves with this highly esteemed award. Monika Rinck’s appointment as visiting lecturer at the Peter Szondi Institute of Freie Universität Berlin will without a doubt be of great benefit to her students. On behalf of the Berlin Senate, I wish to warmly congratulate Monika Rinck on winning the 2021 Berlin Literature Prize." Angelika Meier added: "Monika Rinck inches along the seams of words with minute blades, tears apart the existing connections between words, detects other voices and other connections in the hidden chambers of parlance, and sews them back together with freer, unstable connections."

Monika Rinck was announced as this year’s award-winner on January 12, 2021. The Berlin Literature Prize also comes with a cash award of 30,000 euros from the Preußische Seehandlung Foundation, and Rinck’s appointment as visiting professor for German poetry at Freie Universität Berlin will begin in the 2021 summer semester. Sitting on the jury of the 2021 Berlin Literature Prize were Claudia Albert, Michael Gamper, Jutta Person, Stephan Wetze, and Ernest Wichner.

Previous award winners include recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature Herta Müller, recipient of the 2008 Pour le mérite honor Durs Grünbein, and Sibylle Lewitscharoff, holder of the 2013 Georg Büchner Prize. The Berlin Literature Prize recognizes authors whose literary works in prose, drama, or poetry have contributed significantly to the development of contemporary German literature. You can find further information on the Berlin Literature Prize and a list of all award winners in German on the Preußische Seehandlung Foundation’s website at: www.stiftung-seehand­lung.de/preise-juroren/berliner-literaturpreis.


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