Christian Uetz © Hartwig Klappert


Christian Uetz [ Switzerland ]

The Swiss writer Christian Uetz was born in 1963 in Egnach. After training as a teacher in Kreuzlingen, he studied philosophy, comparative literature and ancient Greek at the University of Zurich. Initially, he became known primarily as a lyricist and made a name for himself as a performer of experimental poetry. He frequently performed at literary events and festivals for poetry and spoken poetry, including in New York, Berlin and Medellín (Colombia). He has published his poetry in a number of poetry books and recorded it for CD productions in collaboration with jazz and improvisation musicians or composers. The exuberant verve of his performances as a performer is matched by the linguistic power of his lyrical texts. His verses fever between existentialism, passion and sentimentality, his language condenses into an evocative, almost exalted fierceness. “The syllables are blocked onomatopoeically, their fugues condensed with letters until they threaten to burst or the words discharge into a new meaning” (“Berliner Zeitung”).
In his first novel, “Nur Du, und nur Ich” (2011), Uetz tells the story of a pair of lovers who live in different cities and, unable to be close, try to take their relationship on the road. Their relationship races through all the ups and downs of desire, lust, devotion and destruction, and Uetz captures this power of obsession, the radicality of lust that increases to the point of self-loss, through a mixture of everyday language, pathos, drastic neologisms and a whirlpool of thoughts and linguistic images. 2011 also saw the publication of “Federer für alle”, an equally eloquent homage to the tennis player Roger Federer. This was followed by “Sunderwarumbe – Ein Schweizer Requiem” (2012) and the novel “Es passierte” (2015) about a fifty-year-old theologian who seeks insights into life through sex instead of the fear of God and loses himself in numerous affairs. When he then believes he is HIV-positive, his philosophical thought processes move in the field of tension between Eros and Thanatos, which he ultimately seeks to escape through a dramatic decision. Uetz’s most recent publication, Angels of Illusion (2018), is a collection of poems coupled with an essay. Once again, he shows himself to be a master of dynamic, pictorial language, of assonances, word creations, quotations, and links philosophy with eroticism. “Intensity to the point of swoon: an orgasm of light, a brightness of death, a rapture of exhaustion, a gift of waste.”
Uetz’s literary work has won him the 3sat Prize of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in 1999, the Prize of the Federation of German Industries in 2005 and the Lake Constance Literature Prize in 2010, among others, for his previous literary oeuvre. After the lockdown experience of 2020, he wrote the essay “Nur dieses Leben” (Only this life), a courageous polemic for an intensive life in the knowledge of the mortality of every human being. His most recent novel, “Das nackte Wort” (The Naked Word, 2021), uses a relationship story to postulate a new male self-image that seeks to overcome the gender gap in language.
He lives in Zurich.



Im Waldgut

Frauenfeld, 1993


Im Waldgut

Frauenfeld, 1994



Graz, 1998

Zoom Nicht


Graz, 1999

Don San Juan


Frankfurt a. M., 2002

Das Sternbild versingt


Frankfurt a. M., 2004

Nur Du, und nur Ich


Zürich, 2011

Federer für alle


Basel, 2011



Zürich, 2012

Es passierte


Zürich 2015

Engel der Illusion


Zürich, 2018

Das nackte Wort


Berlin, 2021