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Gerhard Kofler

Biography and publications

Gerhard Kofler was born in Bolzano (Italy) on February 11, 1949. In 1952 his parents moved to Bressanone. He was an Italian citizen. He grew up among South Tyroleans, people from Trentino, Viennese and Neapolitans.

He read German philology and Romance languages and literature at Innsbruck and Salzburg. Honorary Doctorate of Literature (1999). Associate Member of the European Academy of Poetry. Gerhard Kofler lived in Vienna as a writer, literary critic and secretary general of the Grazer Autorinnen Autoren Versammlung (writers union founded in the Austrian town of Graz in 1973). He wrote poetry and essays in Italian and German. He published 13 books of poetry and a book of short prose. Gerhard Kofler wrote and published a book of poems in Spanish in 1989. In 2000 and 2002, he also presented poems in Neapolitan dialect (Momenti napoletani / Neapolitan Moments and Suonno lieggio / Light Sleep).

Gerhard Kofler died of cancer in Vienna on November 2, 2005.

He received several prizes and scholarships, including:

Gerhard Kofler regularly participated in the Innsbruck Weekend Talks on Literature, he also took part in the “Milano poesia” festival (1992) as well as in the 18th and 19th World Congress of Poets in Bratislava (1998) and Acapulco (1999), the “Poesie international” festival in Dornbirn / A (1999), the “4th Literturfestival in Leukerbad / CH” (1999), the “Gerard-Manley-Hopkins-Festival” in Monasterevin / Ireland (1999, 2000 and 2002), the “Congress of Poetry” in Maastricht / Netherlands (1999), the “Bolzano poesia” festival (1999), the International Literary Ján Smrek Festival in Slovakia (2000, 2002 and 2003), the “28th Congresso Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo, University of Padova, Italy (2000)”, the Poetry Evenings of Struga / Macedonia (2000), the “7th Festival Internazionale di Poesia” in Genova, Italy (2001), the Literary Congress at the Lafayette College, Easton / Pennsylvania (2001), the “Humanities Festival” of Chicago (2001), the “Day of European Literature” at Madison University, Wisconsin, USA (2001), the Poetry Symposion of Athens (2002), the multicultural festival “Qui non è qui” (“Here is not here”) of Rome (2002), the “Poetry Spring” (“Poezijos Pavasaris”) in Lithuania (2003), the International Literary Festival “Sprachsalz” of Hall in Tirol, Austria (2003), at the “Conference of Poetry in Translation” in Oxford, UK (2003), at the XII. International Poetry Festival of Rosario, Argentina (2004), at the international poetry reading at the Biblioteca Nacionál of Buenos Aires, Argentina (2004), at the “5th International Poetry Festival al-Mutanabbi, Poetry and Music” in Zurich, Switzerland (2005) and at the III. Festival of Latin American Poetry in Vienna (2005).

Numerous publications in anthologies, periodicals and contributions for broadcasting stations as well as part authorship in two poetry CDs.

17 Books of Poetry:

2 Books of Short Prose:

  • Taccuino delle ninfee / Tagebuch der Wasserrosen. Short prose in Italian and German. 163 pages. Klagenfurt / Celovec, Wieser Verlag 2005. e-mail:
  • Taccuino su Nuova York a distanza / Notizbuch über New York aus der Entfernung. Written in a Starbucks in Vienna (2003-12-01 – 2004-12-01). Short prose in Italian. German translation by Leopold Federmair (bilingual edition). 266 pages. Klagenfurt / Celovec, Wieser Verlag 2007. e-mail:

Gerhard Kofler’s translations into Italian include poems by H.C.Artmann, Gerald Bisinger, Ernst Jandl, Friederike Mayröcker, Gerhard Rühm, published by Feltrinelli, Milan, and others.

His translations from Italian into German include:

  • Aldo Palazzeschi: Befragung der Contessa Maria. Frankfurt, Fischer.
  • Umberto Saba: Canzoniere. Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta. (together with Christa Pock and Peter Rosei)
  • Domenico Starnone: Via Gemito. Innsbruck, Haymon Verlag 2005.

Gerhard Kofler’s poems have been translated into thirteen languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian, Slovene, Rumanian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Arabic.

The following translations have been published as books:

  • in Spanish, the volume “Poesie da calendario / Am Rand der Tage” under the title “Al filo de los días” translated by Maria Elena Blanco. Ediciones Vigía, Matanzas 1998.
  • in Rumanian, selected poems under the title “Clipa cåntecului / Il momento del canto / Der Augenblick des Gesangs” translated by Peter Sragher. Editura DU Style, Bucuresti 1997.
  • in Slovak, selected poems under the title “Dotyk spanku” (Il tocco del sonno / Die Berührung des Schlafs) translated by Milan Richter. ESA, Bratislava 1998.
  • Geoffrey C. Howes has translated into English the volumes “Il posto esposto / Der ausgesetzte Platz” under the title “Exposed Position” and “Poesie da calendario / Am Rand der Tage” under the title “Edge of Days”.