Poetry Expo 24 / 1 March 2024


Poetry Expo 24

Described as a lover of all dialects and vernaculars, the 2017 LeseLenz poetry scholarship awardee Katharina J. Ferner's texts are a refreshing experience. Below is the English translation of her poem Ivan and a reading of it in German.


Katharina J. Ferner

Katharina J. Ferner is one of the many-voiced word artists from Austria. Between experiment and tradition. A lover of all dialects and vernaculars. Her texts are a refreshing experience. Ferner lives as a poet and performer in Salzburg. Ferner dichtet (Ferner poeticises) is the title of her weekly poetry column in the “Salzburger Krone”. Together with photographer Mark-Daniel Prohaska, she dedicates the film project Homeage to literary street names in Salzburg and reads them with texts by contemporary authors. Together with Kalinka Kalaschnikow, organiser of the reading series Das nackte Wort (The naked word). In 2017 she was awarded with the LeseLenz poetry scholaship in Hausach. In 2019 at the Stuttgarter Schriftstellerhaus. In 2021, Ferner participated in the Ingeborg Bachmann reading competition in Klagenfurt (Austria). Her most recent poetry book : krötentage, poems, Innsbruck  (Austria) 2022.


Hausach LeseLenz

Renowned authors, familiar voices of literature, and literary newcomers have accepted their invitations to Hausach in recent years. The authors and poets came from the entire German-speaking area like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Belgium, and from around the world: India, Egypt, the USA, Mexico, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Japan, Nigeria and other African countries.

To name only a few of the wonderful guests: Friederike Mayröcker, Robert Schindel, Gert Jonke, Ilma Rakusa, Peter Härtling, Martin Walser, Elisabeth Borchers, Lars Brand, Terézia Mora, Peter Bichsel, Katharina Hacker, Lutz Seiler, Sabine Gruber, Raphael Urweider, Arnold Stadler, Ranjit Hoskoté, Barbara Köhler, Jan Wagner, Elke Erb, Klaus Merz, Silke Scheuermann, Colum McCann, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie or André Brink.

The list could go on, because in 2017 the Hausacher LeseLenz will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Regular guests are the Chamisso prize winners and laureates, and together with novelist Ilija Trojanow the LeseLenz founded the extraordinary format “Polyphonic Africa”, where “unknown” literature is presented by inviting every year another author from Africa.

In 1998 the poet José F. A. Oliver, born in Hausach, and Gisela Scherer, brought the festival to life in creative colaboration with the city of Hausach in the heart of the Black Forest.

Since then, the Hausacher LeseLenz offers exciting opportunities of performing literature. The diverse program of the festival attracts a wide audience. It is based on the literary map of the German-speaking countries and the translations into German of world literature and literatures of the world in rural areas.

Another focus of the LeseLenz organizers are the students of the different schools in the city of Hausach and the whole Black Forest region.

Therefore, the public appearance of the writers is always coupled with the possibility of readings at schools and literature or writing workshops. The mediation of contemporary literature in schools was such a positive experience for everybody, that soon events at Kindergardens were added to the program.

The success in dealing with young people led to another module of the LeseLenz: the Youth Literature Week “kinderleicht & lesejung”, which is visited by school groups from all across the region. In 2016 over 2,500 students came to Hausach to visit the readings and events.

In addition to the literary guests from afar, the LeseLenz always involves artists from Hausach, neighboring cities, the region and the whole “land” of Baden-Württemberg.

Meanwhile three scholarships are awarded by the Hausacher LeseLenz (“Hausacher Stadtschreiber”).

In cooperation with the University of Karlsruhe (Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe) the first poetry lectureship in Germany for children's literature has been established three years ago.

The literary guests of the festival regularly deploy a wonderful openminded program of languages, literature and poetry for all ages. The Hausacher LeseLenz has become associated for having writers engaging in a diverse dialogue with one another and the audience.