Sandra Hubinger

- Austria -

Sandra Hubinger was born and raised in Upper Austria. She graduated from the University of Salzburg in German Philology and History; additionally she studied the Art of Language at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. For scholarly and work-related purposes Sandra Hubinger stayed in the UK and France. Since 2004 she lives and works in Vienna.

Her works in poetry and prose are published in literary magazines and anthologies – as f.i. in „Jahrbuch der Lyrik 2015“ (yearbook of poetry 2015), dva Verlag.

In 2013 a selection of her short plays were performed at theatre festivals in Salzburg and Vienna. In the same year Sandra Hubinger was rewarded with the third price at the Feldkircher poetry award." 

In 2016 Kaum Gewicht und Rückenwind was published by edition art science (St. Wolfgang, Lyrik der Gegenwart-series, vol. 56) and highly praised. With this collection of poetry the author mastered for its the subtleties of the perception of the senses, of irritations and disruptions.

It is no coincidence that one of the young writer’s recently published poems (field scene) carries the subtitle stage directions. Sandra Hubinger‘s affinity for theatre is plain to see – it manifests itself not only in her dramatic texts but also in her work as, for instance, assistant director (e.g. Felix Mitterer‘s play „Die Weberischen“; in 2013 Sandra Hubinger‘s short plays were staged at short play festivals in Salzburg and Vienna).


Apart from drama and prose, the author’s enormous strength lies in her poetry. As soon as she started to publish her works in literature magazines and anthologies (e.g. „Jahrbuch der Lyrik 2015), she was awarded several times. In 2016, her first single volume of poetry was released: Kaum Gewicht und Rückenwind (art and science, Nr. 56 in the series Contemporary Poetry).

Due to the explicit delicacy in Hubinger‘s perception of sensory impressions - followed by irritation and ruptures, the book was highly praised by reviews.


The publishing house sees this book of poetry through the mirror of its touching title Barely weight and tailwind:

„Inner and outer occurrences and conditions are described in this poems while observing. Situations and moods are sketched by different linguistic devices – e.g. poetic distancing, tiny shifts in meaning. As a result, snapshots are created – some of them are built like dramatic scenes, others resemble movie sequences; then again some of them are arranged like still lifes - thus creating a certain atmosphere. Sensory impressions are transported by watching, listening.

Within all these refinements the author is constantly inspired by the idea of sounding out the depth of language and its inherent images.


In a lot of her poems the poetic ego is confronted with another person. This ego is relating to a counterpart; it is looking for contact, for localization of not only its own but also the other’s position, focussing attentiveness on the other side.“


In May 2017 Sandra Hubinger took part in the poetic platform Netzwerk : Poesie hosted by Lower Austria‘s House of Literature. This meeting of international poetry writers intends to serve mutual exchange of voices in poetry, of works in poetry. In this context the poet demonstrated her ability to react to the poetry of other writers in a sensitive and subtly tared manner. Seemingly effortlessly playful she understands the music of a counterpart‘s lines, corresponding precisely and without neglecting or losing the gesture of her own work.


Nature, darkness, even some bitter tastes play a central role in Sandra Hubinger‘s poetry.

The atmosphere and moods never slide into tristezza or threat, though – very elegantly she places antagonistic highlights just in the right moment. She rather presents a point of view similar to the glances of a shy animal gazing out of its hole. Other lines, on the contrary, come along like a sassy crow sitting on a cold rigid clothesline, mocking all the other beings – probably starting a dialogue with „young bulls“ while „snow is flourishing white on straw“.


It is not only the cold that is rattling within these poems – they are also softly sounding in “simple melodies”; in all of their sobriety they convey deep insights when saying that „confidence is not a birthright“.


Guiding through suburbs and wide fields, through seasons and waters, through the loneliness of a homeless, reaching for fragile secureness – this is the path on which Sandra Hubinger is taking her readers – just as a journey on a melancholic suburban train („and light falling down shorter near by the rails“). A bit out of time but still very close to the present, the vulnerable nucleus is well sealed into the surefootedness of the language‘s raw material, always referring to the title of her volume Barely weight and tailwind - which should not be misunderstood: This poetic potential has got nothing to do with an autumn leaf being played by the wind in the streets; it is much more like this:


spider‘s hairline

falling from light, swinging

a fist loosely

(from the poem White Album)


The poetic weight of Sandra Hubinger‘s writing lies within the lightness she is lending her verses. It is this lightness that can be compared to the dance of a great ballerina who never lets the audience know about her bloody feet while training.