Wulf Kirsten (born 21 June 1934) is a German poet, novelist, and publisher. He is known for his nature poetry and his essays on the history and culture of Saxony.
The son of a stonemason, Kirsten was born in Klipphausen, Meissen. He worked as salesman, bookkeeper and labourer before graduating from the Workers' and Farmers' College (Arbeiter- und Bauern-Fakultät) of Leipzig in 1960, and then completed a teaching degree in German and Russian in 1964. At the same time he worked on a freelance basis for the compilers of the Dictionary of the Upper Saxon Dialects, providing them with more than a thousand words from his own household.
After obtaining his degree, he worked briefly as a teacher, and then in 1965 moved to Weimar to work for the Aufbau Verlag publishing house, where he would stay until 1987. To further his career as a poet, in the years 1969 and 1970 Kirsten spent nine months studying at the Johannes R. Becher Institute of Literature, under the tutelage of Heinz Czechowski and Georg Maurer.
Between 1968 and 1977, he wrote several volumes of poetry, followed in 1984 by a volume of two prose works. Much of the poetry is collected in die erde bei Meißen (1986), which received the Peter Huchel Prize in 1987, and helped introduce him to West German audiences.
During the upheavals of 1989 and 1990, Kirsten became involved in the New Forum at Weimar, but he was quickly disillusioned and retired from political activism. Between 1992 and 2010 he published his work through Ammann Verlag in Zürich, which issued his collected works in 2004 under the title Erdlebenbilder. He lives in Weimar.