…is a Berlin based writer and poet who started in the 80ies as a singer-songwriter in the oppositional underground of Leipzig. His texts were banned by the STASI but nevertheless his songs and poems became popular during the “monday demonstrations” that led to the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the GDR. After 1989 he published songs, four poetry books, tales and short stories, essaybooks, literary criticism, nonfiction on history and culture and a novel about 1989 (“Rabet” 1999).
His works were translated into 17 languages and got awards like the annual German Literary Science and Philosophy Prize (1998) or the Alfred Doeblin Scholarship of the German Academy of Arts (2006). He is a regular guest at international festivals and universities; as a cultural activist he curates international projects and festivals, chairs the internationally active Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V. and hosts several regular literary salons.*
>> Jankowski belongs to the most interesting voices of a new generation of East-German writers…<< (Caroline Wyatt, BBC)
Festivals/reading tours: Austria, Brasil, Chile, Finland, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, UK, USA.
Academic Guest Lectures: Germany: Humboldt University of Berlin, Hamburg University, German Academy of Arts (Berlin), Free University (Berlin) – Indonesia: Universitas Indonesia (Depok/Westjava), Udanyana University Denpasar (Bali), STKIP Sumenep (Madura), Museum of Modern Arts Wonokromo (Surabaya, Zentraljava), Universitas Muria Kudus (Zentraljava), Kunsthochschule Bandung (Westjava), Universitas Banjarmasin (Kalimantan/Borneo), Islamic University of Makassar (Sulawesi), Al Izhar Highschool (Jakarta/Westjava), Jogja National Museum (Yogyakarta, Zentraljava), UNPAD University (Bandung/Westjava), Airlangga Universitas (Surabaya/Zentraljava), Universitas Negeri (Surabaya/Zentraljava), DIS Jakarta, Islamic University of Kediri (Zentraljava), Balai Bahasa Manado (Sulawesi), LPPM (Sulawesi), Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta (Zentraljava), Goethe-Institute (Jakarta, Bandung) – Italy: Universita Sapienza (Rom), Fondazione Michelucci (Florenz), Universitá degli Studi (Mailand), Goethe-Institute (Rome, Genoa) – Chile: Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Universidad Diego Portales (Santiago de Chile) – USA: George Washington University (Washington/D.C.), Georgetown University (Washington/D.C.), University of Colorado (Colorado Springs), Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.), University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg/VA), Portland State University (Portland/OR), University of Oregon (Eugene/OR) … etc.
Projects for: Sammlung Berggruen (Museum of Classic Modern Art, Berlin), Ethnologic Museum (Berlin), international literature festival berlin, Goethe-Institute (Germany, Italy, Indonesia), German Academy of Arts (Berlin), Berlin Senate, Governing Mayor of Berlin, OECD Forum (Berlin), GIZ (Berlin, Bonn), British Council (Berlin, London), Heinrich-Böll-Foundation (Germany), IndonesiaTera Foundation (Indonesia), Culture Departement of the European Commission (Brussels) – etc.
Born 1965 in Greifswald (Baltic Sea), 1979 first poem published, 1983 high-school diploma in Gotha (Thuringia), tourist guide on castle Friedenstein; 1984 compulsory military service in Kamenz (Saxony); 1985 librarian in Gotha, 1985/87 training-college for librarians in Leipzig (university studies were forbidden “for political reasons”).
From 1987 singer and author in Leipzig: poetry, songs and prose, solo stage-programmes, but “for political reasons” no official “performance permission”, therefore “illegal” performances in churches and clubs all over the GDR, Hungary, CSSR and Poland; illegal observation by the national security service “Stasi” (since 1982), 1988 travel prohibition, marriage and birth of a daughter; 1989 first story published; from 1987 to 1990 one of the speakers of the opposition groups around the St. Nikolai Church (whose activities initiated the legendary “monday demonstrations” and led to the end of the GDR).
From 1990: co-publisher of an anthology about 1989 in East-Germany; editor of an alternative music-magazine; studies of humanities at the Humboldt University Berlin; work at the “culture factory” in Fürstenwalde; participation in the “open mike” contest of the literaturWerkstatt Berlin. Since 1995 freelance writer and poet in Berlin, work as off-theatre-director, regular publications in literature magazines – poems, short stories, essays etc. – studies of New German literature and American studies at the Humboldt University Berlin; host of a monthly Literary Salon in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. 1996: author’s scholarship of the Kulturfonds foundation. 1997: grant for literary work given by the Berlin Senate. 1998: annual literary science and philosophy prize of the DVLG. 1999: novel “Rabet oder Das Verschwinden einer Himmelsrichtung” (Rabet or The Disappearance of a Cardinal Point).
2000 & 2001: art theory texts for the Berggruen Collection (classical modern art) and the Ethnological Museum in Dahlem. 2002: “Poetry International Indonesia” festival (on Sulawesi and Java); co-manager of “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (at Berlin Ensemble); host of the first “International SLAM!-Revue” (at Volksbuehne Berlin); editor of contemporary Indonesian poetry. 2003: lectures at the Universitas Indonesia; co-manager of the annual “internationales literaturfestival berlin”, founder and host of the annual International SLAM!Revue and the Literature Behind Prison Bars; chairman of the “German-Indonesian Institute of Culture” in Berlin.
2004: host of a monthly “Literary Salon at the Kollwitzplatz”; co-manager of the “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (at “Hebbel am Ufer”). 2005: “seifenblasenmaschine” short stories, “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (at Berliner Festivalhaus). book of poems “Indonesisches Sekundenbuch” (Indonesian Book of Seconds). Chairman of the literary events group BERLINER LITERARISCHE AKTION e.V. (Berlin Literary Action). 2006: Alfred Doeblin Scholarship of the German Academy of Arts; novella >>Mäuse << (Mice), “internationales literaturfestival berlin”. “Poetic Dialog Germany-Indonesia”: bilingual poetry performances in 16 Indonesian cities (Sumatra, Java, Madura, Bali and Borneo/Kalimantan) and at the Goethe Institut supported by the IndonesiaTera Foundation and the German Embassy Jakarta. 2007: Poetry performances at the German Academy of Arts and Berlin theatre Schaubühne. Host of the new literary salon Literatursalon Mitte. Grant for literary work given by the Berlin Senate. Participation in the “international writers reunion” Helsinki and Lahti (Finland). Essay book >>Der Tag, der Deutschland veränderte << (The day that changed Germany, creative non-fiction); host of the International SLAM!Revue on ARTE TV.
2008: co-manager of “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (project director “specials”-section); editor of anthologies (prose and slam poetry), theatre workshops and director. Participation in literary festivals in Russia (Republic Mari El) and Indonesia (Ubud Writers’ Festival, International Literature Festival Jakarta) and “Poetic Dialog” reading tour in Indonesia.
2009: “new songs” amongst the best poetry 2009 (German yearbook of poetry). Novel “Rabet” published in Italy. Reading tours in Germany, Italy (Milano, Genova, Bologna, Chivasso, Roma, Trento). TV-documentations about 1989 (ARD, RTL, ZDF, Bloomberg etc.), co-manager of “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (curator “Specials”-section). 2010: Curator “internationales literaturfestival berlin” (House of the World Cultures, Specials). Projekt manager for literature of the European “Arts and Cultur in Prison”. Director of the “Jakarta Berlin Arts Festival” (Berlin 2011). Reading tour in Indonesia (for the German embassy, Waktu publishing & the Goethe Institute). Curator for UdysTOPIA art project. 2011: Director of the Jakarta Berlin Arts Festival. 2012: poetry book “sekundenbuch”, projekt manager for literature in the European “Arts and Cultur in Prison” and “Learning in Prison” projects, Literature Showcase Norwich/UK, host of the new literary salon “Literatursalon Karlshorst”. Literature festival FLUPP in Rio de Janeiro/Brasil; readings in Santiago de Chile. Birth of the second daughter. 2013: Berliner Salotto (German-Italian literature dialogue), Latinale (mobile Festival of latin american literature), Award for Art & Literature of the v. Baum Foundation Berlin (for lyrical lifetime achievement). 2014: Host of Berliner WELTLITERATURSALON (monthly multilingual literary salon), creative writing course for theatre at JVA Plötzensee prison, reading tour to US-universities.
2015: “kosmonautenwalzer” and “sasakananas” (artist book/poetry). Representative of the Free Berlin literary scene in the “AK spaces” of the Coalition of the Free Scenes of Berlin. Jury member for the award of author grants from the Berlin Senate. Visiting scholar for newest German literature and history at the DSaP of the Portland State University, Oregon/USA. 2016: Director international Literature Festival “Stadtsprachen” (city languages) Berlin. European CROWD project for new ways of literature dissemination. Visiting scholar for newest German literature and theatre at the DSaP of the Portland State University, Oregon/USA. Untill February 2017 vice chair of the “Network of the Free Literature scene Berlin e.V. (NFLB)”. From 2017 director of PARATAXE – Berlin’s international literature scenes and editor-in-chief of the multilingual online literature magazine stadtsprachen.de. 2018 director of the literary festival URBAN DICTIONARY – Berlin New York and 2020 Corona Special Scholarship of the Berlin Senate.
2021: Berlin Literary Scholarship for German-speaking authors. Director of the German-Polish litfest UNRAST BERLIN – deutsch-polnisches Literaturforum, the The MIDDLE EAST UNION Festival and the translator project texthelden.