Issue 5

Table of Contentsfor Issue 5

Street art: X times People Chair

Cover illustration: Street art: X times People Chair
Projekt: x-mal Mensch Stuhl
© Projekt: Angie Hiesl
© Foto: Roland Kaiser
Performerin: Gisela Oehlschläger

It’s hard to believe, but no man’s land has just turned five, and (perhaps we shouldn’t say this too loudly) seems to be thriving on a total lack of funding. With nearly double the submissions to choose from this year, we’ve put together perhaps our best, and certainly widest-ranging, issue to date.

For the first time we’ve included a piece that is distinctly of a different era, though it appeared only in 2007, 30 years after the author’s death – an excerpt from Werner Bräunig’s legendary, banned GDR novel Fairground. The issue includes several other older, indeed canonical writers. Bohemian par excellence Jörg Fauser. Siegfried Lenz, whose elusive “guest worker” offers a rejoinder, thirty years later, to Germany’s shrill debate on integration (pace Thilo Sarrazin). Volker Braun, who examines with equal keenness the abyss between haves and have-nots in contemporary South America. The Austrian Gerhard Roth, with a flight of satirical “anti-aphorisms” from his monumental novel triptych.

A sharp political edge is also felt in the work of younger writers such as Dietmar Dath, with his exuberant demolition job “Germany Shuts Up Shop” (again, pace Sarrazin), and Peter Licht, whose manic monologue garnered him awards at the Bachmann Competition in 2007. That year’s main Bachmann Prize winner Lutz Seiler joins us as well with the exquisitely-turned “Frank”. We also present two voices from the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig, Johanna Hemkentokrax and Kai Gero Lenke, in seamless translations by a seminar group at the Martin Luther University in Halle – a highly promising collaboration between young writers and translators. Meanwhile, Czech-born Milena Oda harks back to Eastern European traditions of the grotesque.

Writers working in German as their second language are playing an increasingly important role in the German literary scene: one fine example is the acclaimed Bulgarian-German poet Tzveta Sofronieva. We also find poets experimenting with English, as in Lars-Arvid Brischke’s translations of his own work, and Ulrike Draesner’s virtuoso reworkings of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The issue is rounded out with poetry by two more up-and-coming graduates of the “Leipzig School”, Ulrike Almut Sandig and Claudia Kohlus. And we welcome back Marcus Roloff and – continuing what has become a tradition – Fitzgerald Kusz in Glaswegian.

Last but not least, we’ll update the issue with a documentation of whatever bizarre bilingual doings transpire when “The Igel Flies Tonight” with star poets Ann Cotten and Monika Rinck on November 24 in the CCCP Club – celebrating five years of no man’s land!

Isabel Cole, Katy Derbyshire, Clemens Kuhnert, Alistair Noon, Liesel Tarquini: Editors,  no man’s land



Issue 5


Twin Spin (Shakespeare’s Sonnets)

Berlin, Paris, New York
Love Poem

Day laborer

listen, there’s no a soun noo …
gaun tell us it, sir! …

my gleiwitz

this draught from talk

Un-lost in translation
Landscapes, shore


What’s coming?

Germany Shuts Up Shop

End Your Youth

What Comes from Outside

The Story of my Evaluation at the Beginning of the Third Millenium

As in Gogol

Call Me Servant

The Age of Time