Elke Erb is a translator and literary critic, but mainly writes poetry, prose and essays in collections that are not easily placed into a single genre.
Born in the German Eifel, she moved to the GDR when she was twelve years old. This Grande Dame of the underground scene in the Prenzlauer Berg district showed herself to be a willful poet with the collection Winkelzüge oder nicht vermutete, aufschlussreiche Verhältnisse published in 1991. Her work does not polish reality into smooth lines, but shows her as she is: stubborn. Her last major work, Sonanz. 5-Minute-Notaten, appeared in the fall of 2011. Elke Erb has visited the Poetry International Festival several times, most recently in 1994.