Lydia Steinbacher

- Austria -

Lydia Steinbacher was born in 1993 in Waidhofen / Ybbs in NÖ (Lower Austria). She grew up in the small village of Hollenstein amidst mountain landscape. In her childhood she spent most afternoons together with her grandmother, who told her nice words again and again till little Lydia kept them. Besides she travelled a lot with her family and the longing for other countries and cultures is part of her life.

For six years she has been member of Schreibakademie Waidhofen / Ybbs (under the direction of Evelyn Schlag & Peter Bubenik).

In 2015 she was awarded with the Austrian starting scholarship for literatur. 


Lydia Steinbacher lives in Vienna and studies German Philology. She worked for weekly newspaper "Niederösterreichische Nachrichten" and for daily newspaper "Die Furche". She workes as a language teacher and photographer. 

In January 2014 she had her first book publication: "silex", poems (Berger Verlag Horn). In August 2014 she was awarded Slovenia scholarship and took part in the festival "The days of poetry and wine" in Ptuj. In April 2017 her latest book "Im Grunde sind wir sehr verschieden" is published (Innsbruck: Limbus Verlag). 

Lydia Steinbacher proves to be a young talent with a very authentic voice.


She was born 1993 and grew up in a calm village (Hollenstein/Ybbs) in Lower Austria, where her grandmother nursed her with stories. Even in her early youth she was already interested in natural science and painting and thanks to her family who was very keen on travelling Lydia very early in her life enjoyed to get to know the foreign and the different … a biography too good to be true. At least too good to be uninterruptedly good. The death of her sister, who had to leave this world at the age of twelve, because an incurable disease showed no mercy, left a mark on the whole family. And maybe it was not only the curiosity about the world, but also the idea that the best way to approach this hard to understand fate is by the means of artistic expression, which motivated 13-year old Lydia to attend Schreibakademie NÖ, where she was coached and fostered for example by Evelyn Schlag, one of Austria’s most prominent poets. Maybe it was not only the school girl’s intention to explore the negotiabiliy of the world, but also to find ways how to handle the pain.


Anyway, this young writer avails of an enourmous potential, which will pave her way.


Even her first publication, "silex", a book of poems is more than just a taste of her talent.


"silex" is challenging already in the title – flintstone, granite, sharp-edged, splintering material.


Even when the poet at times wittily plays with words, this friskiness is not the main feature of her poetry. She is a poet knowing a lot, flashing it decently by dispersing quite accidentally confusing features into her observations of nature – and those could be a mean trap in the poetic context when faced too glorified – but not for Lydia Steinbacher.


Her poems are about places, atmospheres and colourful images, and again and again about a "you" – and always the poet succeeds in breaking this tempting sliding into tentative beauty, sometimes in a very soft way, sometimes by abrupt transition. Or she intentionally structures a text right from the beginning from a very radical and relentless point of view.


Despite all these well-made and magic images Lydia Steinbacher is far from hiding herself from the world and its sparsely poetic manifestations, when she addresses them in a clear way.


A writer of this quality may title a poem "butterfly" without loss of image. But Lydia is also very powerful in a lower-voiced titling.


And: "She can turn dramatic in such a beautiful way!" appreciates Beatrix Kramlovsky (an experienced writer of prose and poetry, critic and outstanding crime author) another colourful character of the work of the young colleague. And when Kramlovsky says "dramatic", she knows what she means by this. And with the same precision by which this writer with a long list of publications describes the poetic style of Lydia Steinbacher, Kramlovsky understands the importance and influence of visual arts on the poetry of the younger. And this not only related to the text, but also thanks to the exact view and experience of the painter and the visual artist Beatrix Kramlovsky:


"And although the passing of time has been compared ad nauseam with currents of water, drops and mist, Lydia Steinbacher surprisingly creates something new: She paints with a broad brush and adds only few strokes with a sharp pen, she circles around a white plane by brilliant hard shadings and softens them on a certain spot with full warmth."


A new voice in Austrian poetry renders something astonishing to the breaking of harsh material: harmony of splintering, resistant to courtesy.