Rudi Krausmann's New Book
Rudi Krausmann, Sydney, 1982
Right about now I thought I'd be ascending the steps to Gleebooks Upstairs for this afternoon's launch of Rudi Krausmann's new book 'News'. But unfortunately the event has been postponed until November as Rudi has taken ill. The book, a limited edition collectors' hardback, was to be heralded into the world by antiquarian & specialist bookseller, poet, raconteur and bon vivant (or general 'good guy'), Nicholas Pounder. As a way of wishing Rudi a speedy recovery, I'll post some notes instead of sharing a glass of wine to celebrate his new book.
Rudi Krausmann, reading for peace in Paddington, Sydney in 2001 (foto: Annette Willis)
Rudi Krausmann was born in Mauerkirchen, Austria, in 1933. He has said that because his mother was German and his father was Austrian he had felt like a stranger in his own country. He studied Economics in Vienna for two-and-a-half years and worked as a journalist for the Austrian newspaper, Salzburger Nachrichten. He came to Australia in the 1960s and he worked variously as a freelance writer and editor, a part-time tutor at the University of New South Wales, a language teacher in Sydney and Melbourne and as a radio broadcaster.
Rudi considers himself to be a German poet writing in Australia and one of his themes is 'exile'. In Sydney in 1975 he founded the influential magazine Aspect: Art and Literature, in an endeavour to interrelate literature and the visual arts. The magazine ran for several years. He was Creative Arts Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra in 1980 and since then he has been writer-in-residence at several institutions. He returned to Austria in the 1990s, but returned to Australia to live in Sydney. Rudi and his partner, Flis, spent six months living in Paris last year.
Rudi often asks his friends to illustrate his books. In 2002 I was happy to launch Maps, a bilingual collection of poems with drawings by Andrew Sibley. His latest book News : Fast Flowers, Long Journeys, Cold Funerals that was to be launched today has drawings by noted Sydney artist Garry Shead. It is also a bilingual (English & German) publication with haiku-style poems. The topics range from Germaine Greer to the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art. Rudi also muses upon fellow poets - both Australian and international - and famous writers, philosophers and artists in a series of 60 short verses which are accompanied by equally succinct and pithy drawings. Together, poet and artist explore the idiosyncrasies and vicissitudes of human nature and of creative lives through the medium of this elegantly bound collectors' edition. It's published by Macmillan Australia and you can buy it at Gleebooks
In 1994 Rudi collaborated with Gisela Triesch to translate 80 Australian poets into German. Made In Australia was published by Gerald Gangblauer's Gan Gan Books
You can read some of Rudi's poems and find out more about him by typing 'Rudi Krausmann' into the search panel on gangway online magazine. You can also find a list of Rudi's many books and radio and theatre plays and listen to audio files here