Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees, to be published in Arc’s flagship translation series ‘Visible Poets’ combines the poet’s unerring instinct for the surprising perspective on commonplace objects or events – plants, animals, landscapes– with a mischievous delight in the detail of the absurd, the precarious balance.
Wagner is a vigilant, yet playful, chronicler of the quotidian, his meticulous handling of image and sound forging a worldly, almost luminous palpability. Intensely curious, constantly attentive to novel or unanticipated possibilities afforded by traditional forms, Wagner’s poems celebrate what he has called ‘our steaming, glowing, odorous, noisy world’.
Jan Wagner is a poet, essayist and translator of British and American poetry. He has published six volumes of poetry and has received numerous awards, including the Mondsee Poetry Award (2004), the Ernst Meister Prize for Poetry (2005), the Wilhelm Lehmann Prize (2009) and the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize (2011).