Thomas Kling Archive – Institute of Poetry

Poet Thomas Kling lived for ten years at the Hombroich Raketenstation until he died in 2005 at the age of 47. As scarcely any other writer he shaped the path German poetry took into the 21st century. He shaped Hombroich too. His research into poetics created within this cultural domain a literary focus that attracted regional and national attention. Many poets and writers have accompanied Hombroich’s development since its beginnings and close connections have been established.

The Thomas Kling Archive – consisting of his wide-ranging working library, manuscripts, typescripts, unpublished works, and audiovisual media – has now found a permanent home on the Raketenstation thanks to donations by his wife, artist Ute Langanky.

The Institute of Poetry is housed in Thomas Kling’s former work-spaces in a command-post tower. It is run by Ute Langanky in close co-operation with such specialists as author Marcel Beyer and literary critic Norbert Wehr. This venture makes possible active artistic engagement with Kling’s oeuvre. Various publications have already appeared – including Kling’s Collected Poems – and work is going ahead on others.

The Thomas Kling Archive now also includes his correspondence with such authors as H.C. Artmann, Oskar Pastior, Inger Christensen, and Friederike Mairöcker, complementing the Insel Hombroich Foundation’s extensive collection of manuscripts and what is owned by the Volker Kahmen Institute of Literature and Art.

The acoustic archive was assembled and researched by radio-play author Norbert Wehr. It brings together around 50 hours of sound material of crucial importance for Kling’s oeuvre.

Literary scholars are investigating Kling’s approach to writing, speaking, and authorship. This philological approach enables exploration of the literary, historical, discursive, and topographical contexts of an oeuvre which for long was seldom discussed by scholars, despite its having come into existence in a tense confrontation with their discourse.

Thomas Kling’s complete literary legacy is being archived and incorporated in a data-bank (the total list of objects) in collaboration with the Düsseldorf-based Heinrich Heine Institute (Contact: enno.stahl@duesseldorf.de). It can thus be made accessible for research and other scholarly utilization.