Bio / Biblio

Born in Karlsruhe in 1955, Matthias Politycki now lives in Vienna. He is one of Germany’s most critically acclaimed contemporary writers.

In 1987 he completed his PhD in German literature at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilian University where he subsequently worked for 2 years as an assistant professor. In 1990 he began his career as a freelance writer.

Since then he has played a leading role in Germany’s literary scene. He is singled out for the variety of forms of his poetry, his artistic language, his humour with its lightly-treading irony and amusing melancholy, as well as his general readability with its wealth of allusion. To date Matthias has published more than 30 books, comprising novels, short stories, essays and poems. He also writes articles for newspapers and magazines, stimulates debate in the media and gives lectures both nationally and internationally.

Although he regards himself as a poet at heart (his collected anthology of poetry ‚Sämtliche Gedichte 2017-1987’ has been published 2018), Matthias is best known for his novels such as ‚Weiberroman‘ (‚Novel of Women‘) and ‚180 Tagen um die Welt’ (‘Around the World in 180 Days’) a satirical book that describes his time as artist-in-(non)-residence on board one of the world’s most luxurious passenger ships. To research another novel, ‚Herr der Hörner‘ (‘Lord of the Horns‘) Matthias lived for half a year in Cuba and for ‚Samarkand Samarkand‘ he spent years travelling through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Consequently Matthias is regarded as the globetrotter and literary adventurer amongst German authors. He spends half of each year somewhere abroad. In total he has travelled to more than 100 countries; some of them more than once; some of them for a period of months.
Matthias is a member of German P.E.N. and Academy of Arts in Hamburg. He has been awarded a variety of prizes and scholarships. Many of his works are available in translation, in English, French, Italian, Danish, Irish Gaelic, Ukrainian, Japanese and Chinese. Beijing based publishing house Weidu/Unread published a selection of his poetry in spring 2021. Politycki’s prize-winning, literary, travel log-book ‚Schrecklich schön und weit und wild. Warum wir reisen und was wir dabei denken.’ (‘Fearsomely beautiful and far and wild. Why we travel and what goes on in our minds.‘) is shortly to be published by Weidu/Unread as well.