I met the poet Thomas Rosenlöcher in 2005, when he read at the Goethe Institut Glasgow, and have kept in touch intermittently since. But over the years I have translated a number of his poems – those published in the journal Modern Poetry in Translation can be read here.
He got in touch at the end of last year to let me know of a new collection, Hirngefunkel (Mindspark).
He also invited me to visit him, and I travelled to Dresden earlier this summer. I met him and his wife Birgit at their house in the countryside nearby.
I also had a chance to hear him give a reading of his work, in the odd but fitting setting of the Stasi-Behörde, that is, the building where all the Stasi files are kept and where they can be consulted by members of the public. – Fitting in the sense that he had his own problems with the Stasi in the old GDR; at the reading he joked that, at readings back then, he always tried to work out which member of the audience was the informer.
I came away with new insights into his work, and with an appetite to translate more of his work.
With thanks to Creative Scotland for their financial support towards the trip.