Kateryna Babkina (born 1985 in Ivano-Frankivsk) is a poet, prose writer, columnist, screenwriter, and playwright. She's the author of five poetry collections, most recently Знеболювальне і снодійне ("Painkillers and Sleeping Pills", 2014) and Не болить (“Does not hurt”, 2021), the novel in short stories Мій дід танцював краще за всіх (“My Grandfather Danced the Best”, 2019), a novel and two collections of stories. She has also written four books for kids which are extremely popular in Ukraine. Her writings have been translated into 11 languages. Her plays have been staged in Kyiv, Vienna, and Geneva. Babkina has written columns for Esquire Ukraine, Le Monde, and Harper's Bazaar. Her poetry was published in a number of anthologies and almanacs. There are several short movies based on Kateryna Babkina's stories. In 2016 a short film by her script was screened at Cannes Film Festival in the young director's selection. In 2021 Kateryna Babkina won the Angelus Central European Literature Award.
Josefine Berkholz was born in 1994 and lives in Berlin. She studied Creative Writing at the German Literature Institute Leipzig (DLL) and Philosophy and Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She writes poetry, essays, and stage literature. In her work, she is particularly interested in transition areas between literary genres and between scientific and poetic thought. Since 2010, she has performed internationally as a Spoken Word artist for ZDF Kultur, Arte, MDR, and Goethe-Institutes in Brazil, Belgium, and the USA, among others. She prefers to work in collective contexts, also and especially with artists from other disciplines. Together with Tanasgol Sabbagh, she is the founder and editor of the audio literary magazine Stoff aus Luft („Air Fabric“).
Safiye Can, born to Circassian parents in Offenbach a. M., studied Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Law in Frankfurt a. M. She writes poetry and prose and translates from Turkish. Can has been awarded several literary prizes and scholarships, including the Else Lasker-Schüler Poetry Prize, the Alfred Müller-Felsenburg Prize for Upright Literature (both 2016), and the Arp im Ohr Literary Scholarship, Rheinland-Pfalz (2021). She works as a guest lecturer at universities, including Northern Arizona University (2017) and Bauhaus University Weimar (2021), and holds writing workshops for children and young people in Germany and abroad. Can lives in Offenbach, Germany. Her most recent publications are Kinder der verlorenen Gesellschaft („Children of the Lost Society“, Poems, 2017) and Poesie und Pandemie („Poetry and Pandemic“, Poems, 2021).
Michael Fehr was born in Bern in 1982. Since birth, he has lived with severe visual impairment. From 2007 to 2012, he studied at the Swiss Literature Institute and the Y Institute of the Bern University of the Arts. In 2013 he published his first book, Kurz vor der Erlösung („Just before the redemption“) followed by the dark crime story Simeliberg in 2015 and a collection of metamorphosis stories Glanz und Schatten („Shine and Shadow“) in 2017. Fehr performs as a speaker, plays concerts with his own programs and in collaborations, participates in plays, films, campaigns. He gives lectures and workshops on the topics of communication, speaking and appearance, as well as storytelling and songwriting. Fehr was awarded, among others, the Literature Prize of the Canton of Bern (2015) and the Swiss Literature Prize (2018). Spring 2022 saw the publication of his latest book, Hotel der Zuversicht („Hotel of Confidence“).
Daryna Gladun (born 1993 in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine) is the author of three poetry collections in Ukrainian, most recently Із тіні красивих червоних хлопчиків (“From the Shadow of Handsome Red Boys”, 2020), named one of the best poetry books of 2020 by PEN Ukraine, and Радіо «Війна» (Radio "War", 2022). Her poems and short stories have been translated into dozens of languages. Gladun herself is a translator and co-translator e. g. of a book by Valzhyna Mort Епідемія Троянд (“Epidemic of Roses”, 2019) and two anthologies of Belarusian literature. She is also a curator and conducted lectures and workshops on performance, translation, and blackout poetry and organized literary events for prominent Ukrainian institutions and festivals. She is a laureate of numerous literary contests, a recipient of fellowships from the President of Ukraine, International Writers’ and Translators’ House, Potsdam University and others. Gladun’s poetry has been set to music, used for plays, poetry performances and art exhibitions.
Martina Hefter lives as an author and performer in Leipzig. Her texts move between poetry, essay and scenic forms of writing. She performs many of them herself and in collaboration with other artists. She also teaches at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig (DLL) and at the Halle Burg Giebichenstein School of Art. In 2022 she held the Poetikdozentur (Poetics Lectureship) at the University of Hildesheim. She has published three novels and, with kookbooks, five volumes of poetry, most recently Es könnte auch schön werden („It could also be beautiful“) and In die Wälder gehen, Holz für ein Bett klauen („Going into the woods to steal wood for a bed“). Hefter's awards include the Merano Poetry Prize in 2008 and the Munich Poetry Prize in 2018. In 2021 she showed her first major solo work Mein Haus meine Freunde mein Pferd („My house my friends my horse“) as an eight-hour live stream. In July 2022, she premiered the music-dance-text performance Linn Meier (+2019) together with musicians Timm Völker and Patrice Lipeb at the Literaturhaus Leipzig.
Oleksandr Irvanets (born 1961 in Lviv, Ukraine) is an author, dramaturge and translator. He has lived in Irpin near Kyiv since 1990, currently in Berlin. In 1985 Irvanets founded a Ukrainian literary association in Lviv: Bu-Ba-Bu ("burlesque-dancer-extravaganza"). The group included Yuriy Andrukhovych, among others. In 1987, Irvanets' first poetry collection Вогнище на дощі („Bonfire in the Rain“) was published, followed by over 20 books: poetry volumes, novels, plays, essay collections. In 2005/2006 Irvanets was a Fulbright scholar. 2000 and 2002 a member of the jury of the Bonn Biennial. In 2011, on the occasion of his 50th birthday, an anthology of his works Сатирикон – ХХІ ("Satyrikon – XXI") was published, and in 2017 the anti-antiutopian novel Харків 1938 ("Kharkiv 1938"). Irvanets is a member of the Ukrainian PEN Club. His works have been translated into numerous languages. He also works as a translator himself from Belarusian, Polish, Russian, French and Czech.
Kateryna Kalytko (born 1982 in Vinnytsia, Ukraine) is a poet, translator, author of prose works, member of the Ukrainian PEN Club and active volunteer after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She has published ten volumes of poetry and two books of short stories, most recently Орден мовчальниць ("Order of Silence", 2021), Люди з дієсловами ("People with Verbs", 2022), and two books of short stories: М. істерія ("M.Hysteria", 2007) and Земля Загублених, або Маленькі страшні казки ("Land of the Lost or Little Scary Stories", 2017). Kalytko has received numerous awards for her work, including the Joseph Conrad Koźniowski Prize (2017), the BBC Book of the Year 2017, the Vilenica Prize, and the Women in Arts Award from UN Women. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Iya Kiva (born in Donetsk in 1984) is a poet, translator, and journalist. She fled the war in 2014 to settle in Kyiv. Shortly after arriving, she began shifting from writing in her native Russian to writing in her second language, Ukrainian. She is the author of the poetry collections Подальше от рая (“Further from Heaven”; 2018) and Перша сторінка зими (“The First Page of Winter”; 2019). Her poems have been translated into more than 20 languages. Kiva is the winner of a number of international and Ukrainian festivals and competitions. She is a laureate e.g. of the Metaphora translation prize (2018 and 2020), the winner of the II Poetry Tournament and the Nestor the Chronicler Prize (2019). She also was a scholar of the program of the Minister of Culture of Poland Gaude Polonia (2021) and participant in the literary residence Гніздо (“The Nest”) in the village of Vytachiv, Kyiv Oblast (2022). As a translator, she participated in several international translation seminars and programs. Kiva is a member of PEN Ukraine.
Oleh Kotsarev (born 1981 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) is a writer, journalist, literary critic, and translator. His first collection of poetry came out in 2003 and has been awarded the prestigious Ukrainian literary award Smoloskyp. Several other collections followed. His newest poetry collection is Вміст чоловічої кишені ("The Contents of Men’s Pockets", 2021). He is also the author of a book of short prose, and the novel Люди в гніздах ("The People in The Nests" (2017). Kotsarev’s works have appeared in various translations in literary magazines and anthologies e.g. in Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Israel, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia, Lithuania, USA. Together with Julia Stakhivska, Kotsarev compiled a anthology of Ukrainian Avant-garde Poetry of 1910–1930s. Kotsarev was awarded several prizes for his literary work and his translations, e.g. the Molode Vyno award, the Valerian Pidmohylnyi Prize, and the Metaphora Prize for translation. He is a member of PEN Ukraine.
Ursula Krechel, born in Trier in 1947, writes poetry, novels, essays and plays. Since the 1980s, Krechel has also taught widely: in 1989/90 she gave lectures on poetics in Vienna. In 1997-1999 she was a visiting professor at the German Literature Institute at the University of Leipzig (DLL), and in 1998-2001 and again in 2008-2011 she was head of the Prose Workshop at the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB). She has received numerous awards for her literary work, including the Joseph Breitbach Prize, the German Book Prize, and the Jean Paul Prize. The film adaptation of her novel Landgericht („District Court“ / „Land Court“, director: Matthias Glasner, screenplay: Heide Schwochow) received the Grimme Prize in 2018. Ursula Krechel is a member of the Academy of Arts Berlin, the Academy of Language and Poetry in Darmstadt, and Vice President of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz. In 2020 she was awarded Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Her most recent volume of poetry was Beileibe und Zumute (Jung und Jung, 2021).
Simone Lappert, born in 1985, studied Literary Writing at the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel. She lives and works as a freelance author in Zurich. Her second novel Der Sprung („The leap“, Diogenes, 2019) was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize. In 2022, her first book of poetry längst fällige verwilderung („overgrowth, long overdue“) was published (also by Diogenes). Simone Lappert participates in various art projects as a writer and performer, is president of the Basel International Poetry Festival, jury member of the Basel Poetry Prize, co-founder of the transdisciplinary conversation series Raum für Unsicherheit („Space for Uncertainty“), was Swiss curator for the poetry project Babelsprech.International, and is a member of Ad*S (Association of Authors in Switzerland). She gives prose and poetry workshops for young people and adults, most recently at the Literature houses in Lenzburg and Basel, and on Radio SRF.
Andriy Lyubka (1987 in Riga, Latvia) is a poet, prose writer and essayist. He has published three volumes of poetry, several novels, collections of short stories, and collections of essays. Most recently, he published a travel essay about the Balkans, У пошуках варварів ("In Search of Barbarians", 2019) and the novel Малий український роман (“The Small Ukrainian Novel”, 2020). Lyubka's novel Карбід („Karbid“, 2015) was included in the top 5 books of the year by BBC Ukraine, and the Polish translation was shortlisted for the Central European Angelus Prize in 2017. Lyubka has also received, among others, the "Debut" Prize (2007), the Shevelov Prize for the best essay book of 2017, and the Kovalev Foundation Literary Prize (USA). He works as a translator from Polish, Croatian, Serbian and English and is a curator of two international poetry festivals. Lyubka is a member of the Ukrainian PEN and lives in Uzhgorod.
Ronya Othmann was born in Munich in 1993 and now lives in Berlin. She writes prose, poetry, and essays, for which she has received the MDR Literature Prize, the Caroline Schlegel Prize for Essay Writing, the Open Mike Poetry Prize, and the Audience Award of the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Wettbewerb, among others. In 2018, she was on the jury of the Duhok International Film Festival in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, Iraq, and wrote the OrientExpress column on Middle Eastern politics with Cemile Sahin for taz – Die Tageszeitung until August 2020. Since 2021, she has written the Import Export column for Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Most recently, Hanser-Verlag published her debut novel Die Sommer („The Summers“, 2020), for which she was awarded the Mara Cassens Prize, and the poetry collection die verbrechen („the crimes“, 2021), for which she received the Orphil Debut Prize.
Lesyk Panasiuk (born 1991 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine) is a writer, translator, designer and performance artist from Bucha. He has published three volumes of poetry, most recently Крики рук („Screams of Hands“, 2018), as well as individual texts translated into 22 languages. Panasiuk is himself (co)translator of books by Valzhyna Mort, Siarhey Prylutski, Dmitry Kuzmin, Artem Werle and of three anthologies of Belarusian literature. He is the co-author of a short poetry form, Poetry Zhuk. Panasiuk has received numerous literary and visual arts awards, including the 2019 President of Ukraine Fellowship for Writers, the International Writers and Translators House Award, the Europe House, the Staromieyski House of Culture, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and Dartmouth College. Panasiuk's poems have been set to music and used for plays, poetry performances, and art exhibitions.
Tanasgol Sabbagh is a Berlin-based poet. Her work moves between stage poetry and page poetry, in the form of performances, audio pieces, video installations and musical collaborations. She is co-founder of the Künstler:innenkollektiv parallelgesellschaft („parallel society“ ) and the event series of the same name, which presents and negotiates political art away from the so-called german Leitkultur. Together with the poet Josefine Berkholz, she is the founder and editor of the auditory literary magazine Stoff aus Luft („Air Fabric“), which is published as a podcast – a format that centers on spoken and sound-based literature and poses questions to this type of literature.
Ostap Slyvynsky (born in 1978 in Lviv) authored five books of poetry in Ukrainian, most recently Зимовий король („The Winter King“, 2018). He is also known for translating works by Derek Walcott, James Tate, Charles Simic, Czesław Miłosz, Andrzej Stasiuk and others. Slyvynsky’s poetry and translations have earned him the Lviv City of Literature UNESCO Prize (2020), the Medal for Merit to Polish Culture (2014), the Hubert Burda Poetry Prize (2009) and several other awards. He is the initiator of several human rights actions in Ukraine, including a campaign in support of Crimean Tatar journalists illegally imprisoned in the occupied Crimea and Russian Federation. Since 2021, Slyvynsky organizes a PEN Ukraine festival aimed at novice authors. He was elected Vice President of PEN Ukraine in 2021. In March 2022, Slyvynsky launched the „Dictionary of War“, a literary project based on the documentary testimony of participants and witnesses of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The project is translated into six languages and has its theatrical and graphic realizations. Slyvynsky lives in Lviv.
Carlo Leone Spiller, born in Zurich in 1990, is an author, playwright, poet, and literary mediator. He studied Philosophy and German Language and Literature in Zurich and Berlin, and Creative Writing in Biel. In Zurich, he co-founded the bookstore MATERIAL and is co-organizer of the series Teppich at the Literaturhaus Zürich. Spiller's publications include the poetry collection Das Scheitern der Schmetterlinge („The butterflies‘ failure“, 2015), the pamphlet Gewissheit dein Gesicht („Certainty your Face“, co-authored with Venus Electra Ryter, 2019), and 1-800, a poetry material collection consisting of 834 leaves in an archival container (Zurich 2019). He produces poetry films, most recently TRINKE MIT PHOTONER DAUERWELLE („DRINK WITH PHOTON PERMANENT“, CH 2020) and Gegen die weiche Ewigkeit meiner unsterblichen Wenigkeit („Against the Soft Eternity of my Immortal Self“, CH 2020). Spiller received, among others, the Pro Helvetia Creation Grant Literature (June 2021). He lives and works in Basel and Zurich.
Iryna Tsilyk (born 1982 in Kyiv, Ukraine) is a filmmaker and writer. The director of the award-winning documentary film The Earth Is Blue As an Orange which has won the Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival 2020, as well as numerous other honors. The new Tsilyk’s feature-length fiction film Rock. Paper. Grenade based on the novel of Ukrainian prose writer Artem Chekh will be premiered this autumn. Tsilyk is also the author of two volumes of poetry, most recently Глибина різкості ("Depth of Field" 2016), short story collections, and children's books. Her works have been translated into more than 10 languages. She has performed at international literary festivals and events and received numerous awards, including at the Molode Vyno and Pidkowa Pegasa festivals. During the years of Russian-Ukrainian war, Iryna has taken part in many literary readings, documentary shootings, tutoring for children etc. in the war zone. Her recent poetry and films reflect this experience.
Ariane von Graffenried (born 1978 in Bern) is an author and holds a doctorate in Theater Studies, She writes for the stage, radio, newspapers and academia. She is a member of the award-winning Authors group Bern is Everywhere, curator of the Basel International Poetry Festival, and performs as a Spoken Word artist with the musician and sound artist Robert Aeberhard in the duo Fitzgerald & Rimini. Her lyrical texts usually work multilingually and performatively. In addition to Germany and Switzerland, von Graffenried has performed solo or as a duo in Austria, Poland, India, France, Belgium, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Russia. In 2017, her book Babylon Park was published, followed in 2019 by 50 Hertz, a poetry book with CD. She has received numerous awards for her texts, most recently the Grand Literary Prize of the City and Canton of Bern (2022).