Merz is keenly attentive to daily life as a revelator of essentialtruths, and thus uses poetry as a way of returning closer to it; and“to unbecome what was.” Merz' “nearing” and “distancing” processestake place inside us, through language. By summing up so gently andexactly (but also sometimes drolly or pointedly) the movement ofduality, Merz enables us to sense more fully, time and again, what itmeans to be alive: that “strange exhilaration within,” as he puts itin another of these splendid poems so vividly and resourcefullytranslated by Marc Vincenz.
Klaus Merz was born in 1945 in Aarau and lives in Unterkulm, Switzerland. He has won many literary awards including the Hermann Hesse Prize for Literature, the Swiss Schiller Foundation Poetry Prize, the Friedrich Holderlin Prize in 2012 and the Rainer-Malkowski-Preis in 2016. He has published over 35 works of poetry and fiction. His latest novel is The Argentinian (Der Argentine, Haymon, 2009) and his recent collections of verse are Out of the Dust (Aus dem Staub, Haymon, 2010), Unexpected Development (Unerwarteter Verlauf, Haymon, 2013) and Helios’ Haulage (Helios Transport, Haymon 2016). Innsbruck's Haymon Verlag has published his collected works in seven volumes (2352 pages), featuring all his work in poetry and prose (collected and uncollected) from 1963 through 2014. Merzluft (Breathing Merz), a feature-length documentary by Heinz Butler about Klaus Merz and his work was released in 2015.Born in Hong Kong, Marc Vincenz is British-Swiss and is the author of ten books of poetry; his latest are Becoming the Sound of Bees (Ampersand Books, 2015), Sibylline (Ampersand Books, 2016) and The Syndicate of Water & Light (Station Hill, 2018). His novella, Three Taos of T'ao, or How to Catch a White Elephant is to be released by Spuyten Duyvil in 2017. He is the translator of many German- French- and Romanian-language poets. His translation work has received fellowships and grants from the Swiss Arts Council and the Literary Colloquium Berlin. His own recent publications, include The Nation, Ploughshares, The Common, Solstice, Raritan, Notre Dame Review and World Literature Today. He is International Editor of Plume, publisher of MadHat Press and Plume Editions, and lives and writes in Western Massachusetts.