Cornelia Hülmbauer

- Austria -

Born in 1982 in Lower Austria, Cornelia Hülmbauer currently lives in Vienna; in her work the writer is dealing with poetry, short prose and audio pieces.

She studied art history and English in Vienna and Malta as well as language art at the University for applied arts in Vienna. After graduating she presented scientific works in the field of linguistics. In 2013 she was awarded Exil-Literaturpreis, in 2016 she was a finalist at the open mike competition, 2018: Theodor Körner-award for literature and audience award at the Cena Václava Buriana in Olomouc, Czech Republic; various publications in magazines and anthologies; her poetry debut was published in 2018: MAU OEH D was released at SuKulTuR, Berlin. In 2020 she was Writer in Residence in Pécs (Hungary), attended the international festival Transposie; her texts were presented in the literature passage of Vienna‘s museum district.

Cornelia Hülmbauer born in 1982 in Lower Austria; lives in Vienna; author of poetry, short prose and audio plays. Cornelia Hülmbauer studied art History and English studies in Vienna and Malta as well as language art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. After graduating, scientific activities in the field of applied linguistics followed. In 2013 Hülmbauer was awarded the Exil-Literaturpreis; in 2016 she was a finalist at the open mike competition; in 2018 she received the Theodor Körner-award for literature and the audience award at the Cena Václava Buriana in Olomouc, Czech Republik; various publications in magazines and anthologies. Her poetry debut MAU OEH D was published in 2018 at Sukultur, Berlin. In 2020 she was Writer in Residence in Pécs (Hungary) and attended the international festival Transposie; her texts were displayed at the Literaturpassage /literature passage of Vienna‘s Museumsquartier / Museum Quarter. 


„Communication has to overcome national borders.”


When quoting the poet’s educated and most precise view on her own work, it says: Her texts are dealing with the gaps between recalling and forgetting, referring to the potential of conflict within the family, transgenerational post memory and cultural memory.

Moreover, Cornelia Hülmbauer focuses on the rural structures of society, patriarchal power structures and gender relationships. 


She permanently dissects language, detecting microstructures, showing their legality and idiosyncrasies, exposing the level of extensibility and surpassing of presumed borders. Her aesthetic is shaped by idiomatic phrases and transfer phenomena as well as folk songs and counting rhymes. By creating rhythm and ambiguity she frequently seems to reach a point of no return – with regards to the underlying theme of her poetry as well as skewing images, terms, phrases in a merciless process of squeezing until only pure concentrates are left.


This method of going beyond the surface is a perfect example for the possibilities of poetry and gives a most interesting insight into the process of creating poetry.


In this context one could also refer to Maria Seisenbacher‘s wonderful online-workshop Lyrik-Anleitung (poetry manual) as well as Moritz Hürtgen‘s book Angst vor Lyrik (fear of poetry) – both are great strategies to not only inform readers but also to offer a new way of looking at poetry; to even bring not-poetry-readers on board, transforming them into afficionados in the end.


Poetry is the royal discipline of literature – and Cornelia Hülmbauer is a queen within this circle. Once started, readers will not stop until they finished – her lines pulling them in immediately. 

There is no need to be afraid of her poems’ constructions, complexity or themes. Even though their content can be quite oppressive: Cornelia Hülmbauer frequently reaches out to those parts within human existence, where open wounds are bleeding; in her debut, for instance, she addresses some terrifying topics of social relevance: family affairs, family secrets, family violence. Her poems and their effect are even more impressing, when Cornelia Hülmbauer is performing them in a calm, nearly distanced, mood, thus creating a certain atmosphere of suspense. 


One of Cornelia Hülmbauer‘s methods includes the construction of cycles:




Zyklus V (Cycle V) deals with female bodies in space and female voices in society. 


Again, readers are confronted with ambiguity, the poet interweaves popular songs and rhymes with current discourse. 

She irritates conventional reading habits – and this is all the more surprising, since she counteracts them with well-known schemes of rhythm. It is like fooling the compass by using a magnet – and even the tiniest deviation may create a huge effect.


LOSE POSTEN is a literary adaptation of a private correspondence from 1946 to 1948. The main question is dealing with individual memory versus collective recalling and how to find a way of editing missing facts. By using poetic means of breaking up and assembling, the project addresses the source material from the perspective of future generations and unlocks new semantic potential. 


Extracts from NIEMALS NIE present some kind of radical self-questioning, reaching far beyond the borders of the bearable.

Even when the poetic universe of Cornelia Hülmbauer‘s poetry seems to whisper at times, one should always be aware and carefully listen:


„this shirt is white / like any butcher´s apron in the morning