Guntram Vesper

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Guntram Vesper 2008

Guntram Vesper (born May 28, 1941 in Frohburg ) is a German writer . He is at home in Göttingen.


Guntram Vesper is the son of a country doctor. His ancestors were miners and blacksmiths in the Freiberg and Altenburg areas and in the 19th century factory spinners in the early Saxon textile industry in Zschopau and Zwickauer Mulde . The grandfathers were blacksmiths and veterinarians.

From 1947 to 1955 he attended the central school in the small town of Frohburg in western Saxony and from 1955 to 1957 the high school in the nearby district town of Geithain . He made his first attempts at writing in first grade (first and second world poems ) , the first story followed in 1952/1953, and he wrote his first political poems in 1953 ( June 17 ) and 1956 ( Hungarian uprising ).

In late autumn 1957, the family fled Frohburg and went to West Berlin via West Berlin. From the emergency shelter in Gießen , the young Vesper went on his own to a village in Vogelsberg and worked first on a farm and then on construction sites and in the Hessian lignite mining .

He then attended the advanced high school with boarding school in Friedberg / Hessen. There he met his future wife. With writing friends from the student dormitory, he published the literary magazine Phase , which presented its own poetry and prose. At the same time Vesper was in correspondence with numerous German-speaking writers, such as Arnold Zweig , Kurt Hiller , Alfred Kantorowicz , Hans Mayer , Peter Huchel , Arno Schmidt , Hans Magnus Enzensberger , Günter Kunert , Peter Rühmkorf and Johannes Bobrowski . In 1963 he graduated from high school (first foreign language Russian).

He then briefly studied German and history in Giessen. At the end of the same year he changed subjects and places, he went to Göttingen and studied medicine and, above all, the humanities with a focus on the social history of industrialization and the history of the revolutions and wars in the late 18th and 19th centuries. After the first book publications, radio play productions and press assignments, Vesper decided to work as a freelance writer.

At the age of 22 he published his first volume of poetry in the Hermit Press by Victor Otto Stomps , four years later he read at the last big conference of Group 47 . In 1967 he went on a reading tour with Wolf Peter Schnetz and his Young Academy in the Czechoslovak Republic in early spring in Prague. In 1968 a winter trip to Moscow , Leningrad and Kiev followed . For many years, his work place was in Steinheim am Vogelsberg , the birthplace of his wife, now part of Hungen.

In 1986/1987 he held guest lectures at the University of Essen , and in 1993/1994 he held the Brothers Grimm Professorship at the University of Kassel .

In addition to the books, Vesper wrote numerous radio plays and radio essays as well as television films, a. a. about Frohburg and the landscape of his childhood. He also wrote research on the social and criminal history of the 19th century, e.g. B. Poverty Crime in the 19th Century . His works were named “Book of the Month” by the Darmstadt jury, “ Radio Play of the Month ” and twice achieved first place on the SWR best list .

Vesper is also a draftsman, book collector, editor, and occasionally a critic. He lives in Göttingen.


Guntram Vesper, who has been literary since his youth, has emerged as a writer of poems, stories and radio plays. In his early works the theme of homelessness is in the foreground; later he developed into an important portrayal of rural and village life, to whom he also devoted historical research. The factual, clear style prevailing in his works, despite all the elegiac mood, is generally emphasized .

According to the critic Anton Thuswaldner, Vesper has been writing tirelessly on further poems, stories and novels since he published his volume of poems timetable at the age of 23, "appreciated by a small community of readers and widely honored for his outstanding work". But he did not make his breakthrough until 2016 with the thousand-page novel Frohburg , "which, as it were, drew the sum of his work and immediately moved the author into the center of the literary public." At Frohburg, Vespers dealt with "German history and contemporary history, a feat of strength, who is looking for his own kind. "


Guntram Vesper was a member of the Association of German Writers from 1965 to 1986 . Since 1972 he has been a member of the PEN Center Germany , since 1985 of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt, since 1990 of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz and since 1992 as a founding member of the Free Academy of Arts in Leipzig .

Awards (selection)


  • Timetable. Poems . With 4 montages by Bernd Otto Wallmann. Hermit Press, Stierstadt im Taunus 1964.
  • The more elemental the death, the higher the speed. Excerpts from minutes. Political pamphlet. Together with Ludwig Meidner and Wolf Peter Schnetz. Munich 1964.
  • Poems. Gütersloh 1965.
  • War memorial at the very back. Munich 1970.
  • North of love and south of hate. Munich (inter alia) 1979.
  • The illusion of bad luck. Munich (among others) 1980.
  • The islands in the land sea. Pfaffenweiler 1982.
  • Inland. Stuttgart 1984.
  • Frohburg. New poems. Frankfurt am Main 1985.
  • Magic lantern. Pfaffenweiler 1985.
  • Poetic pearls. Nordlingen 1985.
  • Northwest Passage. Steglitz. Edition Mariannenpresse, West Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-922510-29-9 .
  • The castle park. On Hiddensee. Lohr am Main 1987.
  • Darkroom. Berlin-Kreuzberg 1988.
  • Beacon on the mainland. Munich (among others) 1989.
  • I heard the name Esenin. Frankfurt am Main 1990.
  • Holderlin in Tübingen. Warmbronn 1991.
  • A winter in the beginning. Frankfurt am Main 1991.
  • Saxon country. Freiburg i. Brsg. 1991.
  • Birlibi and other poems. Weilheim i. OB 1992.
  • Light experiments darkroom. Frankfurt am Main 1992.
  • Oblomov day. Warmbronn 1992.
  • The memory of the memory. Pfaffenweiler 1994.
  • Galley of my slavery. Goettingen 1994.
  • Persistence of the moment. Warmbronn 1995.
  • Breathing the pictures. Warmbronn 1997.
  • Distance from home. Bergen, Holland 1997.
  • The sickness of writing. Berlin 1998.
  • Land sea. Edenkoben 1999.
  • The roar of the sea of ​​forest near Weyher. Speyer 1999.
  • Visit to a remote print shop. Edenkoben 2001.
  • The creaking of the gates in early November. Edenkoben 2001.
  • The rift through memory. Bamberg 2001.
  • Clearings. Hamburg 2002.
  • Those who drown can also die of thirst . Blieskastel 2002.
  • Late performance. Corvinus Presse, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-910172-79-1 .
  • Bull book and murder story. Frohburger attempts to write. Warmbronn 2008.
  • Stomps in pouring. Corvinus Presse, Berlin 2008.
  • Start with Arnold Z. Corvinus Presse, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-910172-66-1 .
  • Hiking day. Corvinus Press, Berlin 2014.
  • Way into life. Corvinus Presse, Berlin Bibliophile Evening, Berlin 2015.
  • Frohburg. Novel. Schöffling, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-89561-633-4 .
  • North of love and south of hate. The prose. Schöffling, Frankfurt am Main 2017.
  • Lowland bay. The poems. Schöffling, Frankfurt am Main 2018.


  • Conrad Felixmüller : People. An autobiographical fragment. Jever 1988 (initiated, set up for printing and edited together with Titus Felixmüller)
  • C'est la vie! Reinbek near Hamburg 1989 (together with Alice Frank)
  • Conrad Felixmüller: Tremendous things came our way. Steven Schuyler in conversation with the painter. Bremerhaven 1997 (initiated and set up for printing with Johann P. Tammen and published together with Titus Felixmüller)


  • Franz Josef Görtz : How fear arises. A portrait of the village writer Guntram Vesper. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of August 25, 1981.
  • Gert Ueding : The strange child. About “The habit of trembling” by Guntram Vesper. In: Frankfurter Anthologie . Volume 8. Frankfurt am Main 1984.
  • Fritz J. Raddatz : pity, sadness and indignation. A portrait of the poet and storyteller Guntram Vesper. In: The time . No. 38, 1985.
  • Peter Horst Neumann : One word decides. About “Diary at the beginning of February” by Guntram Vesper. In: Frankfurter Anthologie. Volume 10. Frankfurt am Main 1986.
  • Guntram Vesper. Yearbook of the Peter Huchel Prize. Texts, documents, materials. Bühl-Moos 1987.
  • Fritz J. Raddatz: Guntram Vesper. In: Fritz J. Raddatz: To the German literature of the time 3. A third German literature. Hamburg 1987.
  • Günter Kunert : Microcosm. About Guntram Vesper's poem “A visit to a remote print shop”. In: Günter Kunert: Readings. Poems of the TIME. Munich 1987.
  • Sibylle Cramer : Guntram Vesper. In: Kunisch, Wiesner, Cramer (eds.): New handbook of contemporary German literature since 1945. Munich 1987, 1990, 1993.
  • Peter Rühmkorf : Guntram Vesper. In: Peter Rühmkorf: Thirteen German poets. Hamburg 1989.
  • Heiko Postma : Guntram Vesper - landscapes full of disasters. In: Dirck Linck, Jürgen Peters (eds.): From poet princes and other poets. Hanover 1996.
  • Stefan Neuhaus (Ed.): Nice prospect of danger. Four German scholars interpret Guntram Vesper's text. With notes and materials. Booklets of the Bamberg Germanist Club. Issue 3. Bamberg 1997.
  • Klaus Schuhmann : Land grabbing twice. Special part Guntram Vesper. In: Clams . No. 44, annual publication for literature and graphics. Viersen 2004.
  • Thomas Schaefer: From deep inside the country. A lance for Guntram Vesper. In: the hear . No. 224.Bemerhaven 2006.
  • Gerhard Dette: Guntram Vesper. In: Yearbook of the German Schiller Society from 1859. Weimar 2006.
  • Fritz J. Raddatz: North of love and south of hate. In: Fritz J. Raddatz: Writing means washing your heart. Literary essays. Jump 2006.
  • Matthias Auer, Hermann Korte : Guntram Vesper - The lyrical work. In: Kindlers Literature Lexicon. Edited by Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Volume 16. Stuttgart 2009.
  • Thomas Schaefer: North of love and south of hate. In: Kindlers Literature Lexicon. Edited by Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Volume 16. Stuttgart 2009.
  • Peter Rühmkorf: Guntram Vesper - in renunciation. In: Peter Rühmkorf: A lot of contradictions fit into my head. About colleagues. Göttingen 2012.
  • Claus-Jürgen Göpfert: The Particles of Reality. A visit to Göttingen to see the writer Guntram Vesper. In: Frankfurter Rundschau from 27./28. February 2016, pp. 32–33.
  • Ekkehard Schulreich : A controversial spirit rubs against his happy castle. Large portrait as part of the nomination of the novel Frohburg (2016) by Guntram Vesper for the Fiction Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in: Leipziger Volkszeitung , Muldental and Borna / Geithain, March 16, 2016, p. 35.

Web links

Commons : Guntram Vesper  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Anton Thuswaldner: Vesper, Braun and Tielmann: The SN book tips . Salzburger Nachrichten , March 25, 2018.
  2. Member entry by Guntram Vesper at the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz , accessed on November 6, 2017.
  3. [1] accessed on May 15, 2019.
  4. [2] `` accessed on May 15, 2019.
  5. [3] accessed on May 15, 2019.