Yoko Tawada

Yoko Tawada © Elena Giannoulis

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1960. From 1982 to 2006 she lived in Hamburg and now lives in Berlin. She studied Literature in Tokyo, Hamburg and Zurich and gained a PhD. Since 2012 she has been a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. Yoko Tawada writes in German and Japanese. Since 1987 she has given more than 1,000 readings worldwide.

Publications (selection):
Paul Celan und der chinesische Engel. Konkursbuch Verlag, 2020.
Sendb-o-te. Konkursbuch Verlag, 2019.
Akzentfrei. Konkursbuch Verlag,  2016.
Ein Balkonplatz für flüchtige Abende. Konkursbuch Verlag,  2016.

in English:
Where Europe Begins. Tr. Susan Bernofsky and Yumi Selden, New Directions Publishing, 2002.
Memoirs of a Polar Bear. Tr. Susan Bernofsky, New Directions Publishing, 2016.
The Last Children of Tokyo. (UK) /The Emissary. (US) Tr. Margaret Mitsutani, 2018.

Awards (selection):
2016: Kleist Prize
2015: DAAD Chair in Contemporary Poetics at New York University
2013: Yomiuri Literature Prize
2011: Hamburg Gust Professorship in Intercultural Poetics
2005: Goethe-Medal
2003: Tanizaki Literature Prize
1993: Akutagawa Literature Prize

Festival Content


Communion of the Absent

⇒ Tickets 3€ | Festival Pass 19€ 

Poetry is continually being made through language and bodies, production and reception. But in the pandemic performances, readings, concerts and discussions can no longer be experienced. Is there a danger that poetry will disappear from the collective consciousness if we are not listening to it together, discussing it, teaching it, translating it and continuing to write it? Where can we hear the voice and the silence of poetry today? Where are the round tables at which multilingualism, the musicality of language and translatability are discussed?

Yoko TawadaMarion PoschmannUrsula KrechelUlf StolterfohtJan Wagner