What They Say

14th January 2020

We are grateful for all those who have given feedback so far on this historic project. Rajmohan Gandhi praised the project, saying:“The things that should scare the world include what is happening in India -- glorification of hate (esp. hate of Muslims and Christians), coercion of the weak and vulnerable,… Read More

Doireann Ní Ghríofa reads “The Crimson Shades”

16th June 2020

Click here to watch a video of Doireann Ní Ghríofa reading “The Crimson Shades”. This poem is the English version by Doireann Ní Ghríofa of an original poem written for “A New Divan” by the Emirati poet Nujoom Alghanem, inspired by the book of Suleika in Johann Wolfgang von… Read More

The Oriental Question: An Attempt to Reconcile Goethe and Edward Said

14th April 2020

Stefan Weidner The Oriental Question An attempt to reconcile Goethe and Edward Said Abstract On the face of it, the romantic image of the East presented in Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan and the postcolonial critique of the European view of the East in Edward Said’s principal work Orientalism are difficult to… Read More

Nujoom Alghanem reads “The Crimson Shades”

11th June 2020

Click here to watch Nujoom Alghanem read her poem “The Crimson Shades”. Credit: Hay Festival. Read More

The Essays

23rd June 2020

In addition to the poems in A New Divan, there are three pairs of essays, which enhance and complement the poems, mirroring Goethe’s original ‘Notes and Essays for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan’. The essays are: Sibylle Wentker – “Bringing Persian to Germany”… Read More

Mind the Gap: An Interview with Gilles Ortlieb

17th September 2020

Clare Roberts interviews French poet Gilles Ortlieb on his upbringing in Morocco, his creative process, and the way in which he chose to respond to Goethe’s “Book of Wisdom” for Gingko’s A New Divan. You were born in Ksar Es Souk in Morocco. What was your early… Read More

“Poetry Gives a Voice to the Voiceless”: An Interview with Gonca Özmen

22nd June 2020

Clare Roberts interviews Turkish poet Gonca Özmen on her experience writing for A New Divan, the importance of translation, and the Turkish poets we should all be reading. How did you feel when you were first approached by Bill Swainson about writing a poem for A New Divan?… Read More

Goethe and the Qur’an

9th June 2020

Prof. Dr. Karl-Josef Kuschel Goethe and the Qur’an At a central place inside our home hangs a calligraphy by the hugely talented Shahid Alam, who was born in Pakistan and has lived in Germany for a long time. Shahid Alam answered my plea to have a famous text by Johann… Read More