Writer, translator, editor, living in Berlin. Born in Enge/Northern Friesland in 1950 as son of refugees from West and East Prussia.
Between 1970 and 1978 Scandinavian, German and American Studies in Kiel, Uppsala, Berlin and Turku, Finland. Literary translator of Swedish and Finnish-Swedish fiction and poetry since 1977, one of the editors of the book series and annual "Trajekt" (published in both Germany and Finland) with literary and critical texts about Finnish, Finnish-Swedish, Sámi and Estonian, 1985 and 1986 also Latvian and Lithuanian literature.
Since 2010 Project leader and editor-in-chief of the "Virtual Baltic Sea Library". Member of the German Literary Translators' Association (VdÜ), PEN Germany, Baltic Writers' Council (1997-2013, member of the board 1998-2002, chairman 2005-09), Board of Johannes-Bobrowski-Gesellschaft. In the beginning of 2000 interim director at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby. Organized the Poetry Festival on Gotland in 2000, Baltic Meetings in Kaliningrad in 2005, on Gotland in 2007 and several translators' workshops: on the poetry of Gunnar Ekelöf (Alexandria, 2003), Johannes Bobrowski (Visby, 2006), for translators from German-Russian/Russian-German (Rybachi, Kaliningrad oblast, Russia, 2012) and for translators from German-Swedish/Swedish-German (Visby, 1997 and 2012). Lecturer at the University of Basel in Spring 2015. Since 2015 Corresponding Member of the Swedish Literature Society in Finland. Artistic director of the “Reading the Baltic”-Festival in Rostock 2018, “Ostseedialoge” Berlin 2019 and Literary Translation Programme “Nord Stream3” 2020-21.
Awards: Paul-Celan-prize 2005, Gerard Bonniers prize (Swedish Academy) 2014, Mikael Lybeck prize 2016.
TextDer knorrige Stamm: Demut als Edelmut in der finnlandschwedischen Literatur (Translation of an Essay by Clas Zilliacus)Am Strand (Translation of "Vid stranden" from Swedish)Fragment (Translation from Swedish)Was ist mein Heimatland... (Translation of "Vad är mitt hemland" from Swedish)Hoffnung (Translation of "Förhoppning" from Swedish)Das Jüdische Theater in Kowno (Translation of "Judiska teatern i Kovno" from Swedish)Vor dem Grab des unbekannten Soldaten... (Translation of "Utanför den okände soldatens grav" from Swedish)Frühling in Kaunas (Translation of "Vår i Kaunas" from Swedish)Aus dem Leben eines Wanderlappen (Translation of "En nomad och hans liv" from Swedish)Impa und seine Söhne, oder wie man die Lappen zwang, Silbererz von Silpatjåkko und Alkavare nach Kvikkjokk zu fahren (Translation of "Impa och hans söner" from Swedish)