Finding the Words

Poetry, in its attempt to take the ineffable things of life and put them into words, is an incredibly subtle form of language use. Which means that translating a poem between languages is anything but straightforward. In our latest podcast, we talk to two minds about the art of doing just that. Born in East Germany in 1962, Durs Grünbein is one of the most prominent German poets of his generation. Known for often dealing with political matters in his work, Grünbein has published more than thirty books of poetry and prose. Karen Leeder, who is currently a BUA/Oxford Einstein Visiting Fellow, is a professor of modern German literature at Oxford University and has translated several of Durs' poetry collections into English. In a wide-ranging conversation, we discuss poetry, politics, and the delicate art of translation.

Durs Grünbein is a German poet and essayist, born in Dresden in 1962

Prof. Karen Leeder is a British writer and translator. She holds the Schwarz-Taylor Chair of German Language and Literature, University of Oxford