Helmut Neundlinger

- Austria -

Helmut Neudlinger was born in 1973 in Eferding, grew up in the County of Upper Austria and moved to Vienna in 1992. Studied philosophy and literature on Vienna University. Works as a literary scholar, writer, journalist and musician. Publications: tagdunkel (Poetry, 2011), Die Gerüche des Meeres und der Eingeweide (Poetry, 2017), Die Kunst der Erschöpfung (Essays, 2018), Eins zwei Fittipaldi (Novel, 2018).

Born and raised in Upper Austria, Helmut Neundlinger, „a man of at least 4 talents“ (Uwe Mauch), has been living in Vienna since 1992.

He graduated in German philology and philosophy; since 2014 he has been working as scientific assistant at the Center of Museal Scientific Collections (Department for Arts and Cultural Sciences, Danube University Krems / Lower Austria).

The gifted writer and scientist must have even more than „4 talents“– he deals with various works of art, poetry, prose, journalism and essay, and he is also well known as a keen clarinet and saxophone player. Together with the ensembles „Abado & Co.“ and „Nicky Swing & the Slaves of Beauty“ he is frequently seen on stage performing pure music or doing sessions in combination with readings.

When he is not producing a new CD with his bands (meanwhile 4 volumes were released), he is probably analyzing soccer games in the Austrian newspaper Standard, writing articles for the street magazine Augustin(an important project for supporting homeless people), moderating readings, curating a local festival or – as he did in 2018 – writing a children’s book. 

This book (Eins, zwei Fittibaldi / One, two Fittibaldi) was his debut in prose literature. Critics loved the story, which is told by an 11-year-old boy who guides readers through a day in the woods in the 1980s in a most charming way. 

And, of course, Helmut Neundlinger is a fan of poetry in many ways. In his scientific work he often focusses on great poets such as Ernst Jandl, Christian Loidl, Erwin Einzinger or W.H. Auden.

So – just to give two examples – he edited Die Kunst der Erschöpfung. Lesen und Schreiben mit Ernst Jandl (The Art of Exhaustion. Reading and Writing with Ernst Jandl, Klever Verlag 2018) or the impressing book Thanksgiving to a Habitat. W.H. Auden in Kirchstetten (Literaturedition NÖ 2018).

Poetry, poetic prose, caring for the culture of memory, not willing to let the works of passed away writers drown in the river of oblivion he is burning for his activities.

Neundlinger is also featuring contemporary poets and writers. Readers can, for instance, enjoy a very touching preface written by him in the PODIUM portait of Tarek Eltayeb.

When it comes to his own poetry, Helmut Neundlinger proves his mastership in excellent precision.

His volume of poetry tagdunkel /day gloom (mitter verlag 2011) is regarded by the publishing house as follows: 

„These poems pick up language at the point, where language slips out: in phrases, in rhetorical remainings of the day and supposed „sidewords“ of those speechacts where in nuances and undertones desires and fears are deposited.“

Neundlinger‘s second collection of poetry has a slim and bibliophile design. It’s called Die Gerüche des Meeres und der Eingeweide / Smells of the Sea and Intestines (hochroth 2017).

Here again he shows in an impressing way, how reduction in poetry can make lines glow and shine in the act of letting language stand as clear as possible.

In several poems Helmut Neundlinger offers the whole world with just a glance at some places and his „descriptions“ are touching like: a white cat / with her black tail draws / Arabic characters on the wall.


Concerning his education and work on and with literature one of Helmut Neundlingers main questions remains to be: Who is talking?