anna steegmann

Biography

portrait
© WoWe

I am a bilingual writer with two passports and two homelands. Based in New York City, I also have a home in Görlitz, Germany.

I was raised on the lower Rhine in Germany. Reading and writing helped me to understand my world. My father volunteered for Hitler's Wehrmacht at seventeen and lost his leg two years later. His depression and phantom pains cast a dark shadow over my life and that of my family. I studied social work in Berlin and graduated in 1979.

In New York since 1980, I eked out a living by cleaning the apartments of elderly Jewish ladies, working as a go-go dancer, and acting in theater and film.

I trained as a psychotherapist and worked as a school counselor before I fulfilled my lifelong desire to study Creative Writing. Since 2006, I have been working as a freelance writer, translator, and writing instructor at City College New York and the International Summer Academy Venice, Italy.

My work has appeared in The New York Times, Epiphany, Dimension2, Absinthe Literary Review, guernicamag.com, Diverse Voices Quarterly, ezratranslation.com and several anthologies of the Wising Up Press.

In German,I have been published in Salbader, Rheinische Post, TextArt, Sächsische Zeitung, Trans-Lit2 and taz. I collaborated on the screenplay of New York Memories, directed by Rosa von Praunheim, and have translated three non-fiction books from German to English for W.W. Norton and wrote the script for the radio feature A letter from Harlem.

My essay "Mein Harlem" was selected ‘Notable Essay of 2007’ for The Best American Essays 2008.