Welcome to the website of Dirk Cornelsen, publicist and reciter of poetry



Dirk Cornelsen grew up in Berlin with adopted parents, his aunt and uncle, Hildegard Cornelsen, an illustrator and author of schoolbooks, and Franz Cornelsen, a publisher of textbooks. At the end of World War II his parents, the stage director and actor Heinz Haufe and his wife Carla had committed suicide for fear of the Red Army. The attempt to take their son with them failed.
He learned the profession of typesetting at Ullsteinhaus in Berlin, before studying law and economics in Freiburg and Munich. After working as an editor in a publishing house in London, Dirk became a journalist. He served as a Bonn correspondent for the national newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau for many years.
As a journalist, Dirk Cornelsen took sides in important debates, arguing for civil rights and against the 1972 decree against radicals; for peace and against deployment of nuclear warheads in Germany; for the compensation of all victims of the Nazi regime and against leaving the past behind; Dirk stood for protecting nature and the environment and against urban sprawl and building unnecessary motorways. He also covered the early years of the Green party in the Bundestag.

Writing and Recitation

Dirk Cornelsen has written several books, including a book about the first years of the Green Party in parliament (in Bonn) and a memoir about his childhood and youth in Berlin and the experience of his parents’ suicide.
He went back to university to read history of art and archeology, completing a doctoral dissertation on Francesco di Valdambrino, a fifteenth-century Sienese wood carver, in 2012.
Later in life, after a training in elocution, Dirk also started performing poetry, usually accompanied by musicians. His recitations from memory have been well-received, both in Germany and abroad. His wide repertoire spans several centuries of poetry. In 2012, he released an audio CD of poetry and music, entitled „Ansichten der Seele“ (Sights & Thoughts of the Soul), recorded in cooperation with harpist Susana Feige.
You can listen to a selection of musical pieces and poems from „Ansichten der Seele“ here:

[audio:https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/01-la-source.mp3,https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/02-augen.mp3,https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/03-An-den-Mond.mp3,https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/04-andantino-espressivo.mp3,https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/05-glueck.mp3,https://www.dirk-cornelsen.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/06-Ein-alter-Tibetteppich.mp3| titles=La Source op.44 (Ausschnitt),Augen in der Groß-Stadt,An den Mond, Andantino Expressivo (Ausschnitt),Glück,Ein alter Tibetteppich|artists=Alphonse Hasselmans,Kurt Tucholsky,Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Giovanni Battista Pescetti,Joseph von Eichendorff,Else Lasker-Schüler]

In 2013 Dirk performed with well-known German slam poet Bas Böttcher during a „Classic slam“ in Bonn.

© 2012-2013 Dirk Cornelsen     Impressum