German sound poetry from the neo-avant-garde to the digital age


  • Claudia Benthien
  • Wiebke Vorrath



This article gives insight into German-language sound poetry since the 1950s. The first section provides a brief historical introduction to the inventions of and theoretical reflections on sound poetry within the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. The second section presents works by Ernst Jandl and Gerhard Rühm as examples of verbal poetry of the post-war neo-avant-garde. The following two sections investigate contemporary sound poetry relating to avant-garde achievements. Section three deals with two examples that may be classified as sound poetry in a broader sense: Thomas Kling’s poem broaches the issue of sound in its content and vocal performance, and Albert Ostermaier’s work offers an example of verbal poetry featured with music. The fourth section presents recent sound poetry by Nora Gomringer, Elke Schipper and Jörg Piringer, which are more distinctive examples relating to avant-garde poetry genres and use recording devices experimentally.




How to Cite

Benthien, C., & Vorrath, W. (2017). German sound poetry from the neo-avant-garde to the digital age. SoundEffects - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience, 7(1), 4–26.