Rolf Doppenberg (Switzerland)

Rolf Doppenberg (Switzerland)
Coming from Nyon in the French speaking part of Switzerland, Rolf Doppenberg is working full-time as a nomadic writer. His work includes experimental poetry, travel prose and fiction, and explores groundwater territories. A major issue of his writing deals with the encounter of other cultures. French is his mother- and writing-tongue.
His work attains an international audience : he is regularly invited as a writer to numerous international literature festival, including « Poésie en Ville » (« Poetry in the City ») in Geneva in 2012 and 2014, « Le Printemps des poètes » (« Spring of the Poets ») in Paris in 2013, the « International Poetry Festival Wallonie-Bruxelles » in Namur in 2014, the « Festival international de poésie de Nador » (« International Poetry Festival of Nador ») in Morocco in 2016, to the International Poetry Festival of Rahovec in Kosovo in September 2016, to the International Poetry Meeting in Safi in 2017, at the 12th fiEstival Maelström in Brussels in 2018 and at the 5th International Multilingual Poets’ Meet in Vijayawada in India.
Besides his studies at the University of Lausanne, where he obtained a degree in Natural Sciences, and in Bonn in French Literature, he undertook numerous trips, animated by authors like Nicolas Bouvier or Kenneth White ; he traveled in Greece, in Morocco, in Australia, in Madagascar, in Israel, and in India ; in addition to his travels he lived in Athens, in Morocco and in Bonn : all this gives a nomadic touch to his writing, and a wide openness to other cultures.
His books explore different cultural landscapes, like the region of the Lake of Geneva in “Uriance”, the Rhine River in “Crue de fond” (“Deep flood”), the French speaking part of Belgium in « Amay Rue Paireuses »; this extended also to very different cultures, like the city of Nador in Morocco « N(ad)or ور(اظ)ن », or the desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, through which he walked, in “Sel de nos veines” (“Salt of our veins”).
Another part of his work consist of common projects with other writers, as with the Greek writer Stratis Paschalis, with whom he wrote during his three years living in Athens a bilingual book in Greek and French : “ Garrigue urbaine, Eκεί θα φυτέψωτοΔέντρο, 12*2*2 “ (« Urban scrubland, That’s where I’ll plant the tree »).
Another common writing project was “La rOnde”, experimental poetry composed together with three other authors.
His books are published in five publishing houses, among them three in Switzerland – Les Éditions des Sables, Le Miel de l’Ours and Samizdat Éditions – and two in Belgium – L’Arbre à Parole, and Maelström Éditions.
He contributes to numerous anthologies, among them to the multilingual and international anthology “Amaravati Poetic Prism” (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
His books receive good critics in the press, for example for “Uriance” in « Place de la Sorbonne », the review of contemporary literature of the University of La Sorbonne in Paris, for « N(ad)or ور(اظ)ن » in Viceversalitterature, or in « Continuum, la Revue des Écrivains Israéliens de Langue Française » for his book “Sel de nos veines” (“Salt of our veins”).
His texts are regularly published in literary reviews, in Switzerland (Journal littéraire le Persil), in France (Résonance générale, cahiers pour la poétique, Bacchanales), in Belgium, in Greece, in Serbia (« камење гарригуе » translation in Serbian by Dijana Djurickovic, Književni Pregled, n0 VIII 14, Belgrade, September 2017)
He was invited twice as writer in residence at the « Maison de la Poésie d’Amay » (« House of Poetry of Amay ») in Belgium, where his book “Amay Rue Paireuses” was written and published.
Dives, dives the cormorant
in the water of the Rhine
dives in the stream
of its visions,
in the deepest of the river
touches its bed of pebbles and mud
seizes the quicksilver fish
Plonge, plonge le cormoran
dans l’eau du Rhin,
plonge dans le courant
de ses songes,
au plus profond du fleuve,
touche son lit de galets et de vase
saisit le poisson vif argent
in « Le songe du fleuve », Le Miel de l’Ours Publishers, Geneva, 2011
Reach the clearing’s oratory
for a vigil of the fen
at the firebrand of the roots
– black roots in the flesh,
veins buried in the ground –
in a peat fire
on the Meuse River’s slope.
It is the memory of the bodies,
stuck deep in the bog
– they feed the bilberry
and starry moos
Rejoins l’oratoire de clairière
pour une veillée de fagne
au brûlot des racines
– racines noires dans la chair,
veines enfouies dans le sol –
en un feu de tourbe
à la pente mosane.
C’est la mémoire des corps,
enlisés au profond de la tourbière
– ils nourrissent l’airelle
et la sphaigne étoilée
in « Amay Rue Paireuses », Collection Résidence, L’Arbre à paroles Publishers, Amay, 2017
it was not
it will only be
               on the day
               of the open senses
it is already
              a faint start
would it be
              a link
              to the outmost
at the place
             without nam
            under the shadows
          between pebbles
ce ne fut
ce ne sera
           qu’au jour
           des sens ouverts
c’est déjà
          au tout dehors
au lieu
          sans nom
         sous les ombres
         entre galets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s