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The Stasi Poetry Circle - Philip Oltermann

In 1982, East Germany's fearsome secret police - convinced that writers were embedding subversive messages in their work - decided to train their own writers, weaponising poetry in the struggle against the class enemy.

The Stasi Poetry Circle reveals how a group of soldiers and border guards gathered for monthly meetings at a heavily guarded military compound in socialist East Berlin to learn how to write lyrical verse.

Journalist Philip Oltermann spent five years rifling through Stasi files, digging up lost volumes of poetry from mouldy basements and tracking down this red poets society's surviving members to uncover this little-known story of the famously ruthless intelligence agency's obsession with literature.

Using first-hand accounts and exclusive interviews, this unconventional group biography charts the history of the German Democratic Republic from its utopian origins to its descent into a paranoid culture war: a literary detective story filled with spies who were moulded into poets; poets who spied on fellow writers.

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We hand-wrap our gifts using museum quality gift wrapping paper and offering a hand written note in ink. Please feel free to choose a design below. We can send to multiple address and we do it all with care and attention - it's the closest you can get to wrapping the gift yourself.

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We believe in giving back; We are proud to give 1% of all orders directly to environmental not for profit groups whose focus is the protection, preservation and restoration of our planet. This means every time you purchase from us, 1% goes directly to an environmental cause.

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