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Luke Fischer (Sydney, Australia)

May 10, 2023 | 18.00 – 19.00 | hybrid | Aachener Str. 217, a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School, Skyfall (3rd floor) and zoom


In his major poem Bread and Wine Hölderlin famously asks the question, “What are poets for in a destitute time?” (Wozu Dichter in dürftiger Zeit), and one of Hölderlin's chief concerns was the separation between nature and spirit in modernity and the power of poetry to heal that split. In our current era of ecocide, mass extinction, and anthropogenic climate change, the destructive implications of that split, in its complex entanglement with historical processes of colonisation and industrialisation, have become glaringly evident. Thus it is relevant to ask: “What are poets for in a time of ecological crisis?” Poet and philosopher Luke Fischer, as well as students at the University of Cologne, will read poems that speak to this question. There will also be an open discussion about environmental poetry led by Professor Kate Rigby.

Luke Fischer is a prize-winning poet and philosopher based in Sydney, Australia. His books include the poetry collections A Gamble for my Daughter (Vagabond Press, 2022), A Personal History of Vision (UWAP, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013), the monograph The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the ‘New Poems’ (Bloomsbury, 2015), and the co-edited volumes Rilke’s ‘Sonnets to Orpheus’: Philosophical and Critical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019) and The Seasons: Philosophical, Literary, and Environmental Perspectives (SUNY Press, 2021). He guest edited (with Dalia Nassar) a special section of the Goethe Yearbook (2015) on ‘Goethe and Environmentalism’ and has written on the relationship between philosophy and poetry in Hölderlin. He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney where he is also an honorary associate of the philosophy department. For more information visit: ​​​http://www.lukefischer.net/