Maria Seisenbacher

- Austria -

Maria Seisenbacher studied comparative literature, she is member of the literature group „Wortwerft“ ( and Editor of the literary periodical „Keine Delikatessen“ (

She received various prizes and scholarships: Scholarship for Literature by the BKA (2016), Artist in Residence in Ptuj (Slovenia, 2016) and Rom (Italy, 2016), Wartholz Scholarship for Literature (2014), Startstipendium für Literatur by the bmukk (2012), Artist in Residence in Slovakia (2011), Hans Weigel Literaturstipendium by the federal state of Lower Austria (2007/08).

She was participating at various Poetry Festivals in Europe (i.a. „Days of Poetry and Wine“, Slovenia (2016); „Trgni se! Belgrade Poetry and Book Festival“, Serbia (2016)

She was published in literature magazines, such as „poet[mag]“, „Lichtungen“, „Sterz“, …).

Book publications: Hecken sitzen. poems. illustrations Isabel Peterhans. (Limbus Verlag, 2022). kalben. poems & CD. (Literaturedition Niederösterreich, 2019). Sitta lungt med ordentliga skor. translation into swedish language by Cecilia Hansson und Daniel Gustaffsson (Ellerstörms, 2019). Zwei verschraubte Plastikstühle. poems. (Edition Atelier, 2018). „Ruhig sitzen mit festen Schuhen“. Gedichte. (Edition Atelier, 2015). „bher(a)“. Gedichte. (Edition Yara, 2011), together with Hermann Niklas: „Konfrontationen“. Gedichte 2005-2007 (Literaturedition Niederösterreich, 2009). 


Maria Seisenbacher lives and works in Vienna.

This list may be continued further, but even now we have to ask ourselves, from where this writer, recognized by many awards and scholarships – right now in October 2016 she spends a month in Rome – is taking time and energy for her own writing.

Because the biographic information to be found on book blurbs for example, are rather scanty, in euphemistic words: „Lives and works as writer, editor of magazines and translator into easy language with her family in Vienna.“

By this translation work Maria Seisenbacher and Elisabeth Leister have turned a question into programme: „Why shall I read a text, which I don’t understand?”

In 2014 they commonly founded the association „Easy reading – better understanding texts“.

Their work consists of decoding language, helping to get to the point, assisting people with learning difficulties, offering exam groups, courses, and so on.

A huge task, attempt, which means for a poet to go for and with people, who are rather not familiar with the raw material „language“, even having threshold fears, a way in the absolutely opposite direction: from tightening, condensing, ciphering to decoding, deciphering.

The incentive: obviously the wish to leave the frequently mentioned ivory tower, often associated with poetry, to offer some stimulus to those, who are not language-affine by nature, not to conserve a „Hermeticism“ of the inner circle, but to transfer language and its implications, its beauty and poetry, to places, where it is not automatically perceived.

All these promises, this dedication to a special way of conveying language and literature, all this acceptance of the struggles of the beginners, reveal a lot about the access and style of Maria Seisenbacher’s own works.

Born in Vienna she has spent her childhood and youth in Lower Austria. The moving, the exchange between urban and rural, has become a familiar component. Again and again this exchange is in the focus – in the book „Konfrontationen“ Hermann Niklas and Maria Seisenbacher communicate qua poem, reply (to each other), weave a structure of vis-à-vis diction and contradiction – confrontation in the best sense.

And again and again we meet the opening of structures, the co-operation across the genres.

The poet offers us a tour de force with her book „Ruhig sitzen mit festen Schuhen“. A breaking-up, trying to (maybe) enter into the delicate hair cracks of an isolating brain, of a fading memory: The poet dares to address a lady with Japanese roots suffering from Alzheimer disease with her poetic means, using her poetry against this decay.