The Self in Verse

The Self in Verse. Exploring Autobiographical Poetry. Editorial


  • Johannes Görbert University of Fribourg
  • Marie Lindskov Hansen Independent Scholar
  • Jeffrey Charles Wolf Independent Scholar



Autobiographical writing, Poetry, Life-writing theory, Life-writing history


This editorial introduces the four articles of the section “The Self in Verse. Exploring Autobiographical Poetry” and connects their specific findings to a variety of more general aspects in the study of life-writing. It sketches out preliminary considerations concerning the definition of autobiographical poetry and the relevance of paratexts and autofictionality for the genre. Furthermore, it outlines some of the most common recurring themes in poems dealing with autobiographical issues, such as writing (through) the body and exploring life’s crises, watersheds, and crossroads lyrically. We advocate for a more comprehensive study of autobiographical poetry as a form of life-writing that, in our view, has not yet been investigated systematically, neither by historical nor by theoretical approaches in literary and cultural studies.

Author Biographies

Johannes Görbert, University of Fribourg

Johannes Görbert is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Medical Humanities at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). His research interests include travel literature, literature and the natural sciences, intercultural literary studies, poetry, and contemporary literature. Görbert is currently working on a project about the literature of the Weimar Republic from the perspectives of Medical Humanities and Disability Studies.

Marie Lindskov Hansen, Independent Scholar

Marie Lindskov Hansen holds a PhD in Scandinavian literature from Humboldt-Universität Berlin with fellowships at Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Oxford. Marie's research on autofiction and autobiography has been awarded the 2020 SWEA International Prize and will be published in late 2021.

Jeffrey Charles Wolf, Independent Scholar

Jeffrey Charles Wolf received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include the interplay of science, medicine, and literature in the 18th and 19th centuries.





The Self in Verse