09.02.2021 | Pressemitteilung

Grimm Poetics Professorship 2021 goes to Terézia Mora

The author Terézia Mora will receive this year's Grimm Poetics Professorship at the Kassel University. The Hungarian-German is thus honored for her literary work. She is expected to hold three events at the university in northern Hesse in June.

Bild: Antje Berghäuser

As a prose writer, Mora (*1971) has now published two volumes of stories and four novels. Her early story collection "Seltsame Materie" (1999) and the novel "Alle Tage" (2004) were followed over the course of a decade by a trilogy of novels recounting the simultaneously extreme and curious life of IT specialist Darius Kopp. The trilogy ranges from "Der einzige Mann auf dem Kontinent" (2009) to "Das Ungeheuer "(2013) and "Auf dem Seil" (2019). The protagonist initially spends professionally successful and privately happy times in Berlin. When he is confronted with the suicide of his Hungarian-born wife, he sets off in search of her origins with his wife's urn in his luggage, traveling to Hungary and on through Eastern Europe. In the third part, he is finally stranded penniless as a casual laborer, tourist guide, and pizza maker in Sicily before setting off for a new life back in Berlin with his pregnant, underage niece.

Terézia Mora has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2018 Büchner Prize. Her fictional texts impress with "eminent presence and lively linguistic art, which combines everyday idiom and poetry, drasticness and tenderness," was the statement at the time of the award ceremony. "The text worlds are" - according to the organizer of the Grimm Poetics Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer - "populated by a cast of characters that often gathers oddballs, precarious existences, modern nomads, unhappy-seeming loners, and bizarre, sympathetic strangers. Vivid descriptions and visually arresting worlds are characteristic of Terézia Mora's storytelling. Self-reflexive moments and playfully experimental elements also emerge, sometimes ironically breaking the narrated worlds. Examples include crossed-out words, graphically structured text arrangements, or textually juxtaposed simultaneous narrative strands and perspectives, as well as the accompanying different individual reading directions."


Public events for the 2021 Grimm Poetics Professorship are expected to take place between June 8 and 10. They will kick off with the inaugural digital lecture, "Agoraphobics on Lookout Platforms," via Zoom. Instead of a reading, the online premiere of a cinematic portrait by, with, and about Terézia Mora is planned. The third part will be a poetics seminar, which will take place within the framework of the accompanying seminar led by Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer, open to the university and with a limited number of participants. The exact dates will be announced later.

The Brothers Grimm Poetics Professorship

The Poetics Professorship has been awarded by the Kassel University since 1985 and is currently endowed by the Kasseler Sparkasse. So far, important authors, playwrights and filmmakers have been honored - among them Herta Müller (1998), Volker Schlöndorff (2011) and Felicitas Hoppe (2019). In public events, the award winners reflect on artistic processes and their works.  

Information of the press announcement can be found on the GPP homepage.


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer
Kassel University
Modern German Literary Studies/Media Studies
Institute for German Studies
Brothers Grimm Poetics Professors