POSTPONED – In conversation with Philip Oltermann
24 May @ 20:00 - 21:00
Our conversation with author and journalist Philip Oltermann, which was due to take place at 8pm on 24 May, has been postponed. We will let you know as soon as we have a new date for the event.
Philip Oltermann was born in Schleswig-Holstein in 1981. He studied English and German literature in Oxford University and University College London before beginning a career in journalism for both German and English-language media. He has written for Granta, the London Review of Books, and the Guardian, for whom he is the Berlin Bureau Chief. His first book, Keeping Up with the Germans, was published in 2012.
His newly released book, The Stasi Poetry Circle, tells the extraordinary true story of how a group of soldiers and border guards gathered for monthly meetings at a heavily guarded military compound in socialist East Berlin to learn how to write lyrical verse.
In 1982, East Germany’s fearsome secret police – convinced that writers were embedding subversive messages in their work – decided to train their own writers, weaponising poetry in the struggle against the class enemy. Using first-hand accounts and exclusive interviews, Oltermann’s unconventional group biography charts the history of the German Democratic Republic from its utopian origins to its descent into a paranoid culture war: a literary detective story filled with spies who were moulded into poets; poets who spied on fellow writers.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the conversation.