Tanja Dückers, *1968 in Berlin, studied German Literature, North American Studies and Art History and has published 20 books to date, including the prose works „Himmelskörper“, „Spielzone“, „Hausers Zimmer“, „Café Brazil“, essay collections („Morgen nach Utopia“, „Über das Erinnern“), four volumes of poetry, children’s books, plays, radio plays and non-fiction („Das süße Berlin. Die Schokoladenseiten der Hauptstadt“, with photographs by Anton Landgraf). Interdisciplinary projects with visual artists, composers, theater directors and choreographers. Invention of a secret script and founding of her own chocolate brand „Preussisch süß – Berliner Stadtteilschokolade“ with chocolatier Christoph Wohlfarth.
Tanja Dückers is a frequent commentator on socio-political issues, has appeared on many panels in Germany and abroad and regularly writes essays/contributions for newspapers, magazines and radio.
She has been writer-in-residence, German lecturer and visiting professor at Dartmouth College, Allegheny College, Oberlin College and Miami University, among others. In 2022 she taught at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a member of PEN Berlin, Amnesty International, „Write on. A portal for literature and music from crisis areas“ as well as the Christa Wolf Society and ver.di. She lives with her family and her Shetland Sheepdog in Berlin.
More in detail:
Tanja Dückers was born on September 25, 1968 in Berlin (West). She is the daughter of the art historian and George Grosz expert Alexander Dückers and the art historian Margarethe Dückers. After graduating from the Walther-Rathenau-Gymnasium (Berlin) and a long stay in the USA, Tanja Dückers studied German, Dutch, North American Studies and Art History at the Free University of Berlin and at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and completed her studies with an interdisciplinary thesis on the „Aesthetics of the Sublime in Modern Painting using Barnett Newman as an example“. During her studies, she worked as a news and weather reporter at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin and as an assistant editor at various publishing houses, including Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung. Her first two books, two volumes of poetry, were published while she was still a student, her first novel shortly after she graduated. Since her studies, Tanja Dückers has made her living as a freelance writer and journalist. She also teaches on German studies programmes outside Germany.
Scholarships and teaching jobs have taken her, among other places, to Los Angeles, Meadville/Pennsylvania, Hanover / New Hampshire, Oxford and Oberlin / Ohio, Madison/Wisconsin, Amsterdam, Flanders and Brussels, Bristol /UK, Barcelona, Paris, Brno, Prague, Krakow, Bucharest, Sibiu, Cata (both Romania), Sylt and Ahrenshoop, Gotland/Sweden, Cyprus and Salzburg. Though travelling a lot, Tanja Dückers has never been doing any trip in her life without having a home in Berlin. She lives there with her family and her Shetland Sheepdog.
In 2017 Tanja developed and established with the Berlin-based chocolatier Christoph Wohlfarth her own chocolate-line „Preussisch süß“ (=Prussian sweet) with 29 different tastes according to the characteristics of different districts of her hometown: www.preussisch-suess.shop
As a journalist, Tanja Dückers writes for various newspapers and magazines, including Die Zeit, Süddeutsche, Welt, Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung, Jungle World, taz, Amnesty Journal, Politik & Kultur, National Geographic, Berliner Morgenpost, Brigitte, Frankfurter Rundschau, vorwärts … She was a columnist for FR, Zeit Online, and BÜCHER magazine (she invented therefore a column called „Schräge Worte“ („Weird Words“), in which she presented strange creations of terms from everyday life). She contributed to the RBB program „Die Literaturagenten“ for four years. Since 2008, Tanja Dückers has been writing essays on socio-political topics for ZEIT Online.
Drawings, comics (invention of the „Blubs“), development of the secret script „Autumnisch“. Interdisciplinary projects with visual artists, composers, theater directors and choreographers. She has also written catalogs for various artists, including Karin Sander, Nicola Staeglich, Jörg Gläscher, Claudia Christoffel and Angela Wohnout.
For ten years, she organized a large annual benefit reading with a musical program in Berlin (first in the „Red Salon“ in the Volksbühne, then in the „Sodaclub“ in the Kulturbrauerei, later in the Kantkino) for the benefit of Berlin’s homeless.
Tanja Dückers created a charity chocolate for Ukraine with her small organic brand „Preussisch süß – Berliner Stadtteilschokolade“, the proceeds of which she donated to the Ukrainian NGO Vostok SOS via Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights.
Active membership in PEN Berlin, Christa-Wolf-Gesellschaft, ver.di, Amnesty International and „Weiter Schreiben / Write on“ (project for refugee cultural workers).