Renate Aichinger

- Vienna, Austria -

Born 1976 in Salzburg. She works and lives as a director and writer/poetess in Vienna.

Renate Aichinger studied Dramatics and Art History (Thesis on „Die Schwärmer“ by Robert Musil). Invitations to „Texte 3“  in Luxembourg 2002, “Retzhofer Dramapreis” 2003, and

„Memminger Autorenpreis 2007“

2013 she followed the invitation for a scholarship to Villa Decius in Krakow and also attended the “European Poetical Tournament” 2013 (her contribution was the „winning poem“ from Austria). 2014 she received the “Rauriser Förderpreis” and took part at “TEN DAYS – POETISCHE ORTE”, as an Artist in Residence at Gersdorf/St. Johann. 2015 she became

„Stadtschreiber“ (Writer in Residence) in Schwaz/Tyrol and also was nominated for the VERSOPOLIS project by Literaturhaus NÖ (Invitation to Felix Poetry Festival, Belgium).

Published books: „wundstill“ (2012), „WELT.ALL.TAG“ (2014) – both edition laurin,

„endeln“ (2016)  at „Neue Lyrik aus Österreich“ (Berger Verlag).

Beside her literary work Renate Aichinger works also as a director and playwright (including Junge Burg Wien, Junges Schauspielhaus Zürich, Stadttheater Gießen, ARGEkultur Salzburg and Vorarlberger Landestheater).

2012 she became head of the participatory project „Bürgertheater“ at Landestheater Niederösterreich (including GLANZSTOFF by Felix Mitterer, awarded 2015 with the NESTROY SPEZIALPREIS by the jury).

Since 2016 she is head of the department OFFENE BURG at the Burgtheater Wien.

She likes to work together with people and to write about people. Furthermore she likes rosé wine, icecream, chocolate, gardening & sitting outside, Cote d´Azur, Romy, her beloved ones, being on stage, clicking the keyboard, living in Vienna and leaving Vienna – and to retain these precious moments, on photographs and on (virtual) paper.

Trained by her theatre work her writing is based on exact observation – from small gestures up to higher contexts. Very important for her are snapshots. She was awarded various scholarships and prizes (most recently Rauriser Förderpreis 2014). She writes both, prose and poetry, but is turning to poetry increasingly, which may be judged from the structure of her poems, which develope from shortcuts to longer lyric units.

The topics of „text provider“ Aichinger, no matter if prose of poetry, are always based on critial analysis of social and sociopolitical connections, projected onto individual contexts and elaborated with subtle wording. And even when it comes to terms of form Aichinger’s prose and poetry have a common denominator – despite all the poignancy of her images, she refuses to simplify in her linguistic realization, she adopts the bulky in order to to advance the smooth, the soft-focussed and the softened. Hamburger Feuilleton refers to her stories in WELT.ALL.TAG (Edition Laurin 2012) as follows:

„When Aichinger writes about everyday life which makes up the world – the title is chosen thoughtfully – she searches for little moments, pushing a curtain aside, peeking through a keyhole. And by this she snatches a stunning essence of everyday life. But this „stunner“ is not for free. One has to make some effort to be (a) fortunate (reader). Because Aichinger blazes the trail whenever possible. Her favourite punctuation mark is the dot. With pleasure she places dots right in the middle of a sentence – or even a word. Welt.All.Tag. Sometimes this obstructs the reading flow and the reader is inclined to page forward. But it is worth not to do it. Not only her language is unusual, even bizarre. Also when it comes to contents everyday life is not coming along like something ordinary. Because Aichinger applies the scalpel and tells.“

About the poems in „wundstill“ (Edition Laurin 2014) the publishing house states:

„Renate Aichinger faces in her poems traditional literary topoi like Zeitgeist, transitoriness and generation gaps with a lot of sympathy for those, who don’t function any more in the global gear. She uses language which clearly pins its associatively shaped inside in today’s world and which unmasks the furtiveness of promotional and political language. By means of impressive urbane style and concentrated contextual meanings Renate Aichinger shows people who run the risk of permanently losing themselves in today’s stimulus satiation and hectic life. Despite all this the charming black humor of these socially critical and politically committed poems succeeds in making the reader smirk now and then.“

Also in her new lyric works Renate Aichinger sticks to her basis approach – moulded by poetic concentration. Some examples may be found in the anthology „poetisches netzwerk“ (Edition Aramo 2015), in which eight writers from Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol were asked to work on poems of their colleagues in a corresponding way.


A report from a hectic time – committed poems with a breeze of black humor.“



Her skillful juggling with words with a critical undertone is worth reading. She sensibilizes for language and intervals, both in words and thoughts.“



Renate Aichinger’s word cosmos ‚wundstill‘ immediately suggests images, which hit the lyric heart. Maybe after the crying of the wounded in Trakl’s Grodek this silence emerges, which is wundstill, maybe it is the child, which hurt itself and now is wundstill, maybe it is the wound, which has been agonizing the whole life and now has come to rest behind the pulsing. And the enhancement is the resulting stillstill, in which language and expected future are dissolving.“

(Helmuth Schönauer)