Susanne Ehrhardt's first collection was one of the winners of the inaugural Straid Collection Awards in 2011 and was launched at the fifth Derwent Poetry Festival.
Rumpelstiltskin’s Price is divided into three parts. Most of the poems which make up Part I are set in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. They look in from the outside – observing, learning, involved, in love. Part II, Growing up German travels back in time, to childhood and adolescence after the Second World War in a rural community. Major preoccupations are the aftermath of war, fatherlessness, economic restrictions and a growing realization of the crimes of the parents’ generation. If Part II is the thesis and Part I the anti-thesis, the short Part III, Exiting Sideways, is perhaps something like a synthesis.
Susanne Ehrhardt grew up in Germany and came to Britain as a young adult. She took a degree in Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and qualified as a medical doctor from Cambridge University. She worked with non-government and government health programmes in Bangladesh, and subsequently as a health adviser with Oxfam’s long-term health projects, as well as in humanitarian emergencies. She had been living with the English language for twenty years before the first poem arrived. Rumpelstiltskin’s Price is her first collection.
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