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Hochstadter Stier – The Bull of Hochstadt

When I signed up for the “Hochstadter Stier” (“The Bull of Hochstadt”) in November, I did not know what to expect. But it seemed to be exciting. Even better, the “Bull” did perfectly fit in with my planned trip to Germany.

So what is this “Bull”? – The “Hochstadter Stier” is an annually held poetry workshop (Anton G. Leitner Verlag/publisher of DAS GEDICHT). Its highlight is a public event at the Gasthof Schuster in Weßling/Hochstadt where the participants get the chance to present their poems.

Hochstadter Stier

Last weekend I found myself together with 23 other participants in Weßling/Hochstadt (Germany). We read, we ate, we listened, we laughed, enjoyed, and worked – while dwelling upon this year’s theme “love and praise” under the guidance of two great mentors Anton G. Leitner and Hellmuth Opitz.

It was a wonderful weekend filled not only with incredibly diverse poems, but also with enthusiasm, amazing people and inspiring discussion.

Luckily, the competition did not poison the amazing atmosphere. Quite the contrary. We encouraged each other and rhapsodized upon listening to some of the poems.

Going weak at my knees

It was my first participation at a poetry workshop and it also was the first time for me to publicly perform one of my poems. Unlike the writing of a poem, performing also requires attention to voice modulation and pace. Despite good preparation at the workshop, last Saturday night my knees turned to jello while performing my poem “wertgeschätzt” (“valued/appreciated”).

Performing at Hochstadter Stier

The next day a video analysis showed that even after living in Canada for almost five years now, I still speak German with a Southern German dialect. I also was surprised that I appeared to be far less nervous than I had actually felt during the performance.


Amongst the winners chosen by the audience and the jury are Judith Hennemann from Frankfurt, Karsten Paul from Nuremberg and Silke Loser from Paderborn, and also Jo Lenz from Berlin, whose poem “Mächtige Du” (“Mighty You”) has experienced the most courageous transformation during the course of the workshop. From High German to Berlin German dialect. Jo Lenz is also an avid blogger with German stories  and German poetry.

Even though I did not take a trophy home myself, I enjoyed the whole experience very much.

The compliment of a lady from the audience who approached me after the event was a special “praise” treat to me. She told me that my poem “wertgeschätzt” (“valued/appreciated”) had touched her and that it took the words right out of her mouth –  and also she had voted for me and my poem. I very much appreciated her “valuation“ and felt like a winner right there.

You can find me in one of the pictures here:


Read in German here: http://katercarson.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/hochstadter-stier-im-lyrik-fieber/