Aleš Šteger
Aleš Šteger was born in Ptuj, Slovenia, in 1973. He is the outstanding voice of the younger generation of Slovenian poets, as well as being a driving force in his country's literary scene as the co-founder and long-term artistic director of the international festival "Days of Poetry and Wine" in Medana.

Aleš Šteger studied comparative literature and German in Ljubljana from 1992 to 1999 and today he continues to live there, working as an independent author and contributor to the publishing house Beletrina. From 1994 to 1997, he was cultural editor of the magazine Tribuna; since 1998 he has edited the series of books Koda at the publishers Studentska Zalofba. His volume of poetry "Šahovnice ur" (Chessboard of Hours) received the debut award from the Slovenian book fair in 1995. In the same year, he received the Veronika Prize for the best work of Slovenian poetry of the year for "Kašmir"; in 2002, he published the volume of poetry "Protuberance", in 2005 "Knjiga re?i" (The Book of Things) and an audio book. Aleš Šteger has translated the poems of some of the most important German-speaking poets into Slovenian, including Gottfried Benn, Ingeborg Bachmann and Peter Huchel, as well as "One-Way Street" by Walter Benjamin.

According to Josip Osti, "Šteger's poems are unusual, inwardly-looking travel texts, in which Kashmir does not appear as a geographical but an imaginary fact, creating a world parallel to the description of everyday life but no less concrete. The poems are the topography of a landscape beyond time and space and the attempt to grasp the gravity and compassion of language (...), the expression of the merciless and paradoxical logic of a fissured existence." In the poem "With Eyes Closed" we read: "Close your eyes and you see a poem. / It has none of the tangibility of things you secretly long for. / It reminds you of a fresh, white-painted room, / where summer forgot to close the doors and windows. / But this, too, an unfortunate reference to forms in the concrete world."

"All his recourses to visions and dream images notwithstanding, Šteger has in a sense always been shockingly disillusioned, surprising us with his thrilling, relentless expression." (Klemen Pisk, Delo)

"There is no word for some things" ? this insight can be found in the Comprehensive Dictionary of Slovenian, and Šteger makes the sentence into a motto prefacing his "Book of Things". This volume of poetry collects together stringently constructed, light-footed texts on the taken-for-granted and therefore seldom noticeable trivialities of everyday life. Rather than describing them, Šteger gives a voice to the things themselves. Reflections of the anthropomorphist world are at work in the poems with titles like Egg, Knot, Stone, Pissoir – the lyric "I" sees himself in the things that he looks at; he observes and is observed. As the poet and translator Matthias Göritz remarks in his epilogue: "The 'Book of Things' offers a gliding panorama, a cabinet of mirrors, in which everything lies in wait for everything else, entering into a disturbing process of observation that can never be completed. In these poems there can be no question of agreement, either with the condition of the world, or with language."