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The Trilogy of Surfaces and Invisibilities by Nora Gomringer


  • Image of The Trilogy of Surfaces and Invisibilities by Nora Gomringer

Translated by Annie Rutherford, with original artwork by Reimar Limmer.

"Annie Rutherford's translations of Gomringer's poems are constantly inventive, lithe and impressive." - Sasha Dugdale

Combining the collections Monster Poems, Morbus and Fashions, Nora Gomringer’s trilogy offers a modern anthropology. Gomringer shines a light on the all-too-human, plays with the superficial and loves the invisible. Accompanied by Reimar Limmer’s illustrations, these poems unpick ideas around the monstrous, the inscribed and gendered body and the face we present to the people around us. Packed with pop culture references and always casting an eye back to where we came from, The Trilogy of Surfaces and Invisibilities is a call for a radical humanism.


The Swiss/German author Nora Gomringer is one of the German language’s best known and loved contemporary poets. In the early 2000s she was a prominent voice in Germany’s young slam scene, and her background in performance continues to inform her work. Her writing blurs the boundaries between performance and page poetry, as well as often intersecting with other art forms, from film to music and visual art. Her work has won her a number of awards, including the Joachim Ringelnatz Prize in 2012 and the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Award in 2015. In 2019 she was the Max Kade Professor for the Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio. Nora Gomringer lives in Bamberg, where she is director of the International Artists’ House, Villa Concordia.

Annie Rutherford makes things with words, and champions poetry and translated literature in all its guises. She works as Assistant Director at StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, and translates from German, Russian, French and Belarusian. Her translations include Nora Gomringer’s Hydra’s Heads (Burning Eye, 2018), Volha Hapeyeva’s In My Garden of Mutants (Arc, 2021) and Isabel Bogdan’s novel The Peacock (V&Q Books, 2021). She is currently working on translations of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff and Kinga Toth.

Reimar Limmer works as a graphic designer and illustrator with a particular focus on work in the arts. His illustrations for Nora Gomringer’s Trilogy have been showcased in exhibitions in Cologne, Vienna, Zurich and Hanoi. He lives and works in Bamberg.