Jeffrey McDaniel ist wieder einmal in Augsburg. Zuletzt war er während eines Poetry Slams aufgetreten, den ich im Rahmen von La Piazza ‘99 im Spiegelzelt auf dem Rathausplatz organisierte. Mit dabei war damals Beth Lisick. Der geniale Spoken Word Poet aus New York tritt heute abend während des abc Festivals auf. Gestern traf ich ihn zufällig auf der Maximilianstraße und nutzte die Gelegenheit um ihn zu seinem Verhältnis zu Bertolt Brecht und natürlich auch zu Augsburg zu befragen.
Hello Jeffrey! Long time not seen. How are you and your writing?
I’m fine, thank you! Today I am a professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. I have walked the line between spoken word and the page-based world for years, since my work appeared in Best American Poetry 1994, the same year my team made the finals at the National Poetry Slam.
Jeffrey, what are your thoughts about Bertolt Brecht?
Brecht is of course a major writer of the 20th century who stood up for what he believed in and consequently was persecuted in several continents. I first came across him in college. He’s a symbol of artistic courage. We could use a few more Brechts in this world right about now. “Quick Batman, to the Brecht-mobile.”
Can you remember your last visit to Augsburg?
My first time in Augsburg was the summer of 1999. I was touring Europe with Beth Lisick. We were two of the first American poets to tour Europe so there was lots of excitement around it. The show in Augsburg and the show in Ulm have blurred together in my mind. I think the Ulm show was in an old pub from 1600 or so – a building that if it was in the US it would be a museum.
The Augsburg show was part of a fetsival. We performed in an outdoor tent with with glass windows. There was a giant balloon somewhere nearby. We were surprised by how much the German audience could capture of our words, even though we were reading in English. It was a very educational trip for us, as in the US you grow up hearing about Germany in history books and on television, but we got to meet many living, breathing people. And, of course, I remember the geneorosity of my hosts.
Thank you very much!