Ales Steger was born in 1973 in Ptuj, Slovenia – where he grew up – then part of the former Yugoslavia ruled by Tito, which gained its independence when he was 18. He published his first collection in 1995 at the age of 22, and was immediately recognised as a key voice in the new generation of post-Communist poets not only in Slovenia but throughout central Europe. Notable for its moral engagement, Steger’s poetry is acutely precise in its observation and concentration as well as multi-layered and technically versatile, ingenious and inventive, adventurous and playful yet serious in intention.
Above all, his poems are incessantly curious in their investigations which the reader is invited to share – and he loves to ambush the reader with the unexpected. His influences are mainly European, including the Serbian master poet Vasko Popa, as well as German and Spanish-language poets he has translated into Slovenian, such as Bachmann, Benn, Huchel, Neruda and Vallejo. He has added his own strand of writing to the distinctively European genre of prose poems in pieces which describe everyday objects in minute terms, only to explode in the imagination through what he perceives in them.
He is also known for his prose books and experimental writing including his Written on Site pieces.