Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees, to be published in Arc's flagship translation series 'Visible Poets', combines the poet's unerring instinct for the surprising perspective on commonplace objects or events - plants, animals, landscapes- with a mischievous delight in the detail of the absurd, the precarious balance. Wagner is a vigilant, yet playful, chronicler of the quotidian, his meticulous handling of image and sound forging a worldly, almost lumius palpability. Intensely curious, constantly attentive to vel or unanticipated possibilities afforded by traditional forms, Wagner's poems celebrate what he has called 'our steaming, glowing, odorous, isy world'.
Born in Hamburg in 1971, Jan Wagner studied English in Hamburg, Dublin and Berlin, where he has lived since 1995. A poet, essayist and translator of British and American poetry (Charles Simic, Simon Armitage, Mathew Sweeney, Robin Robertson), he was also, until 2003, co-publisher of The Outside of the Element, a boxed loose-leaf periodical based on an idea by Marcel Duchamps. He has published six volumes of poetry and has received numerous awards, including the Mondsee Poetry Award (2004), the Ernst Meister Prize for Poetry (2005), the Wilhelm Lehmann Prize (2009) and the Friedrich Holderlin Prize (2011).