Christian Hawkey

(1969 / Hackensack, NJ)

Biography of Christian Hawkey

Christian Hawkey poet

Christian Hawkey (born 1969, Hackensack, NJ), is an American poet, translator, editor, activist, and educator.

Christian Hawkey is the author of several books of poetry, including Sonne from Ort, Ventrakl, Citizen Of, The Book of Funnels, and a number of chapbooks. His work has been translated into German Slovene, French, Swedish, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch; and he translates several contemporary German poets including Daniel Falb, Sabine Scho and Steffen Popp, and Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger.

He completed graduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he founded and edited the first 10 issues of the poetry journal jubilat. He is an associate professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He teaches in the English department, and the Writing for Publication, Performance, and Media Program.

In 2012 he founded, with Rachel Levitsky, the Office of Recuperative Strategies (OoRS), a research-oriented collective of activists that explores new tactics to promote the reuse, perversification, reanimation, and reparation of precarious, outmoded, and correctable cultural phenomena.

About Ventrakl, poet and translator Johannes Göransson writes "A contemporary poet more interested in the complications of the translation process and kinds of wounds it opens up is Christian Hawkey. In his new book Ventrakl, Hawkey makes the problems of translation the central concern, rather than something to avoid (you can see it in the pun of the title--ventricle, of Trakl, English and German moving in and out of the book, forcing one's mouth to mispronounce the title, turning the reader's mouth, body into medium). The book is part translation of the iconic World War I poet (of 'witness') Georg Trakl, part study in the problematics of translation; and part seance--a seance that admits the ghost-like, haunted nature of translation, very much in keeping with Pound's reanimation project."

His first book was given the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He received a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award in 2006. In 2008, he was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow. In the Summer of 2010, Hawkey held the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany. He was selected to judge the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2012.

With the collaborative team of Joe Diebes and David Levine he has held residencies at Watermill, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Governor's Island Artist Residency program, and the BRIC Fireworks Residency.

Christian Hawkey's Works:


Sonne from Ort. (in collaboration with Uljana Wolf). Kook Books. 2012.
Ventrakl. Ugly Duckling Presse. 2010.
Citizen Of. Wave Books. 2007.
The Book of Funnels. Wave Books. 2004.


Sonette mit elisabethanischem Maulwurf. translated by Uljana Wolf. hochroth Verlag, Berlin. 2010.
Petitions for an Alien Relative. Hand Held Editions. Spring 2010.
Ulf. Factory Hollow Press. Spring 2010.
HourHour. Drawings Ryan Mrozowski. Delirium Press. 2006.

Sonne from Ort reviewed in Body Literature
Ventrakl reviewed in Jacket 2
Ventrakl reviewed in Bookforum
Ventrakl reviewed in The Constant Critic Updates

Fraulein, can you

sometimes, when I can't sleep, I drag my sleeping bag
into the meadow's precise center
& crawl inside, head first. Fraulein, there is the stars'
ceaseless drilling. I close my eyes. Somewhere below me
a star-nosed mole cuts its webbed hand
on a shard of glass. I close my ears
& over my body the current of a young doe
eddies, ripples across the field, a low-lying midnight fog
swirling after her, falling back, suspended. I know you are close.

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