Born April 16, 1947 in Gummersbach (near Cologne), West Germany.
Naturalized U.S. citizen.
Married (to Rita Dove, 1979), one child (Aviva, born 1983).


"Abitur" at Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliches Gymnasium Köln-Mülheim, 1966.
University studies in psychology, German literature, theatre science and philosophy at Universität Köln, 1966-71; did not finish his Dr. phil. dissertation in psychology (on psycho-linguistic influences of Marxism on the West German literature of the sixties) in favor of a career as a journalist, novelist and playwright.

Literary publications:

Der Ausbruchsversuch (novella), limited fine press edition, Eremitenpresse, Stierstadt/Ts., 1967
Erfahrungen (short stories), Tsamas Verlag, Villingen, 1968
Knopflochgesinnung (poems, with original woodcuts by Johannes Vennekamp), limited fine press edition, Neue Rabenpresse, West Berlin, 1968
Die schwarzen Tauben (novel), Merlin Verlag, Hamburg, 1969; paperback: Merlin, 1970
Das Haus Che (novel), Merlin Verlag, 1973
Blutschwestern (play), Merlin Verlag, 1975; first performance: Torturmtheater Sommerhausen, 1976 (Veit Relin, director)
Larissa (novel), Braun Verlag, Köln, 1976; 1st paperback ed.: Braun Verlag, 1977; 2nd paperback ed.: Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt, 1982
Per un poc di pace (oratorio, with music by Helge Jörns); first performance: Berliner Singakademie, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, 1978; first broadcast by RIAS Berlin, 1978
Das Naturtheater von Oklahoma / The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma (bilingual play), Oberlin College, 1978 (directed by the author)
Schurz oder Die Streiche der Geschichte / Schurz, or The Tricks of History (bilingual play), Oberlin College, 1979 (directed by the author)
Die Fesseln der Freiheit (novel), Braun Verlag, 1979; paperback: Fischer Verlag, 1981
The Stain (novel; revised American version of Die Fesseln der Freiheit), Story Line Press, Brownsville, OR, 1988

Numerous radio plays for Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg) and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne); collaboration on tv scripts for German television; poetry and fiction on radio, in anthologies and magazines (mostly in literary magazines like Akzente and die horen, but also in mass market publications like Twen and the German edition of Penthouse)

Fiction and poetry in English translation have been published in numerous issues of Dimension, the University of Texas at Austin's now-defunct bilingual magazine for contemporary German arts and letters (IV/3, VIII/3, IX/2, 15/2, Special Issue 1983, et al.)
English poems in Seneca Review, The Reaper, et al.
First chapter of Slow Dust, a novel in progress, in River Styx, summer 1989
"Breva", a short story, in Ploughshares, Vol. 17, Nos. 2 & 3 (Fall 1991)
"Aviva's World", essay, in Fathering Daughters, ed. DeWitt Henry & James Alan McPherson, Beacon Press, Boston 1998
"The White Poets' Society or, How I Lost My Patience With The 'Masters' of Verse", essay, in International Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1998; reprinted in Callaloo
"Reflections", a memoir excerpt, in Ploughshares, Vol. 27, Nos. 2 & 3 (Fall 2001)

Literary criticism (excluding book reviews):

"Paul Schallück", in The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern European Literature, 1979
"Max von der Grün", ibid.
"Paul Schallück" (comprehensive encyclopedia essay), in Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur, Verlag text + kritik, München, 1981
"Michael Schulte", ibid., 1987, 2000

Journalistic and related work:

Regular book reviewer and occasional film and rock music critic, Kölner Stadtanzeiger (Cologne daily newspaper), 1967-69
Script writer for Wir im Scheinwerfer, a television series for young people, Westdeutsches Fernsehen, 1967-68
Feature and travelogue writer, TWEN (a mass market glossy magazine for a young, upscale audience), 1969-71
Theatre correspondent in North-Rhine Westphalia, accredited at all area theatres, for Mannheimer Morgen (daily newspaper), 1972-73
Berlin correspondent, accredited at all West Berlin theatres, for Deutsche Volkszeitung (a national weekly), 1973-76
Numerous book and theatre reviews and reports on cultural events for Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 1970-76; major critical radio features on topics such as the use of language in pop music, the psychological motivations of party functionaries, environmental influences on the language of learning-impaired children, et al.
Cultural feature writer and reporter for the two West Berlin radio stations, Rias Berlin and Sender Freies Berlin, 1974-76
Regular contributor, Dokumente (an intellectual / political quarterly), 1973-77
Regular contributor, Freie Jüdische Stimme (a national bi-monthly), 1979-81
U.S. correspondent, Tribüne (an intellectual / political quarterly), 1986-89

Plus numerous articles and essays in other magazines and newspapers, as well as in anthologies.


Rita Dove, Die gläserne Stirn der Gegenwart, poems, Heiderhoff Verlag, Eisingen, Germany, 1989
Rita Dove, Das dunklere Antlitz der Erde ("The Darker Face of the Earth"), a play; script publication on the Internet. (Click here for a link.)
From the English for several German literary magazines, newspapers, etc.
From the German (together with Rita Dove) for Poetry magazine

Editorial work:

Editor, Die Pauke (a student magazine), 1965-66
Editor, Papiermanschette (a small literary magazine), 1966-68
Associate editor, Neue Rabenpresse Berlin (a leading German fine press publisher for literature and art in the late sixties ), 1967-69
Founding co-editor, popopo (a provocative monthly aimed at an "alternative" market), 1969
Guest editor, Dimension. Special Issue: "The Image of America In Contemporary German Writing". The University of Texas at Austin, 1983
Guest editor for fiction, Ploughshares (Emerson College, Boston, MA), # 16,1 (spring, 1990)

Additional Information (honors etc.):

Book-of-the-Month Award for Die schwarzen Tauben, Darmstädter Jury der Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (German Academy for Language and Literature), Nov. 1969
Förderpreis für Literatur der Stadt Köln (Literary Prize for Younger Writers of the City of Cologne), 1973
West German delegate, International Petöfi Congress, Budapest, Hungary, 1973
Delegate of the West German Writers Association to the Soviet Union, 1973
Member, Board of Directors, Verband deutscher Schriftsteller (German Writers Association), 1974-76
West German delegate, International Congress of the Slovenian PEN-Club, 1974
Delegate of the German Writers Association at the U.S. State Department / West German Foreign Ministry conference "German-American Cultural Relations", Glen Cove, New York, 1975
Literary Fellow of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia, 1975
Chair, Brüder Grimm Prize Jury of the City of Berlin for Outstanding German Children's and Youth Theatre, 1975
Organizer and leader of a delegation of twelve younger West German writers (born since 1940) to the United States, Carl-Duisberg-Society (Cologne/New York) in collaboration with U.S. State Department and West German Foreign Ministry, 1976
Villa Massimo Fellowship, German Academy in Rome, 1976
Travel Grant for Writers, West German Foreign Ministry, 1976
Honorary Fellow in Writing, International Writing Program, The University of Iowa, 1976
Writer-in-residence (visiting associate professor of German), The University of Texas at Austin, 1977
Visiting associate professor of German, Oberlin College, 1977-79
Mishkenot Sha'ananim Fellow of the City of Jerusalem, 1979
Literary Fellow, City of (West) Berlin, 1980
International Working Period for Authors Fellow, North-Rhine Westphalia Ministry of Culture and Universität Bielefeld (Center for Interdisciplinary Research), 1980
Literary Fellow of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia, 1981
Adjunct professor in Creative Writing, Arizona State University, 1981-89
Scholar in Residence, University of Virginia, 1989-
John Frederick Nims Translation Award (together with Rita Dove), Poetry magazine, 1999