There has been considerable movement in the German poetry scene in recent years as a young generation has laid claim to the literary stage. The project “Babelspeak. New German Poetry”, initiated by the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin and the Literaturhaus Vienna, tried to foster a discussion over a three-year period with the aim of broadening the awareness of poetry writing in the German-speaking region. The project began with an initial network meeting in Lana (southern Tirol). With its poetry festival, poetry prize and literature scholarship, the city’s reputation as a hub of poetic encounter extends beyond national boundaries. The meeting tried to help a new generation of poets position themselves in an international context, create a network between previously secluded poetry scenes in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and prepare a blog as a poetry platform for young poets. The three-year project phase concluded with the collection “Lyrik von Jetzt3” [Poetry of Now3] – a compilation of the new voices in poetry in the German-speaking countries and a reading series in cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“Babelspeak” was curated by three poets of the young generation. Max Czollek (Germany), Michael Fehr (Switzerland) and Robert Prosser (Austria) have gained significant insight into current developments of new poetry in the three countries through their own work. The cooperation partners included the Lana Literature Association, the event organiser Kaufleuten in Zürich, the Robert Walser Center and the Wallstein Verlag. Pro Helvetia provided funding for the project in Switzerland.
Artistic directors / curators: Max Czollek, Michael Fehr (CH), Robert Prosser (AT)
Artists / writers: Dagmara Kraus, Martin Fritz (AT), Anja Kampmann, Sophie Reyer (AT), Eva Seck (CH), Reinhard Lechner (AT), Tim Holland, Patrick Savolainen (CH), Yevgeniy Breyger, Michelle Steinbeck (CH), Christiane Heidrich.
Venues and Dates:
Symposium in Lana, southern Tirol: 26 – 29 Sep. 2013;
Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, Literaturhaus Vienna, Kaufleuten, Zurich, Robert Walser Center, Berne: 1 Nov. 2013 – 14 May 2015
Knaackstr. 97 (Kulturbrauerei)