For the second time, Luxembourg is returning to the Leipziger Buchmesse with a national stand, demonstrating its commitment to showcasing its literary creations on the international stage. Seven Luxembourg publishing houses (Capybarabooks, Éditions Guy Binsfeld, Editions Phi, Hydre Éditions, Kremart Edition, Op Der Lay and Point Nemo Publishing) presented their new titles at the event, which attracted more than 88,000 visitors.

Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg aims to showcase Luxembourg literary creation, with a particular focus on German-language literature, although French and Luxembourgish were given a prominent place on the stand’s shelves, which inevitably raised the curiosity of both the general public and the professionals present. The convivial exchanges at the stand illustrate the dynamic atmosphere of the Leipziger Buchmesse, where curiosity and passion for literature converge.

Ulrike Bail, Raoul Biltgen and Guy Helminger were the guests of a reading event held on Saturday 23 March at 9pm at die naTo as part of the official programme of Leipzig Liest. Kultur | lx was delighted to be able to bring Luxembourgish voices to a new audience and to involve German literary critic and journalist Katrin Hillgruber in moderating the event, which provided yet another opportunity to gain an outside perspective on Luxembourg authors.

This spring, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg is supporting a national stand at the Brussels Book fair for the second time to showcase Luxembourg’s publishing sector and French-language publications in particular.

From 4 to 7 April 2024, Kultur | lx will host a national stand showcasing a delegation of five publishing houses—Black Fountain Press, Capybarabooks, Hydre Edition, Kiwi E.LG et Passa Parola Editions—and their authors. They will present their latest releases to publishing professionals and the French-speaking general public.

This fair is not only an excellent way to present authors from Luxembourg and boost distribution of their works by organising readings and talks, but also an excellent platform for other meetings and discussions.

This year, Kultur | lx will once again organise a reading as part of the official Brussels Book Fair programme.

Friday 5 April, 3 p.m. to 3.45 p.m. | Reading and discussion ‘The architecture of unstable times’
Scène Savoirs, Brussels Book Fair
Authors: Jean Portante (Une dernière fois, la Méditerranée – Éditions Phi) & Antoine Pohu (Nous sommes celleux qui marchent dans la ville, Capybarabooks)
Moderator: Rachele Gusella (Literary researcher, Research Foundation Flanders – FWO)

Two authors from Luxembourg will reflect on the current state of global affairs through a monologue that cries out in shock and anger at the state of the world, and a polyphonic novel that weaves a narrative arc running from Virgil to the European migration crisis.

In addition, through its support for career development for artists and creatives in Luxembourg, Kultur | lx will also send Ian De Toffolli (Hydre Éditions) to the ‘Publishing in the French-Speaking World’ workshops organised by the Brussels Book Fair. For the first time, this programme for professionals, developed jointly with several partners, will offer opportunities for discussion, networking, and training for around 15 French-language publishers. The three-day workshop will bring together publishers who have catalogues that include works from several French-language territories and who are interested in launching joint publications.

Event at the Books from Luxembourg stand | Shed1, Stand 150 from 4 to 7 April.

Next events:
‘Poetry from Luxembourg’ Stand | Marché de la Poésie from 19 to 23 June

On the occasion of Luxembourg’s presence at the upcoming Leipzig Book Fair, we present the latest publications of Luxembourgish literature in German as well as the novels of the authors who will be holding a reading at the Leipzig Book Fair (*).

*Ulrike Bail, im halblichten geäst deines atems
Conte Verlag, 2023, Poetry, German

In im halblichten geäst deines atems, Ulrike Bail discovers cultural networks in the moss, symbolic processes between orchids and mushrooms and finds surprising words on her daily walks with her dog. Her poems explore the diverse relationships between culture and nature – delicately and sonorously.

CNL, 2024, German

Ulrike Bail’s poetry often contains references to the semantic fields of flora and fauna, for example in the collections wundklee streut aus (2011), die empfindlichkeit der libelle (2017) or im halblichten geäst deines atems (2023). In this speech, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, reference is made to a species of mussel native to the Normandy coast and this is set against the rupture of civilisation as a metaphor of life as well as poetry. The result is an intellectually and emotionally engaging, linguistically highly sophisticated text in which nature and culture are not conceived as opposites, but relate to each other.


*Raoul Biltgen, Meine Insel. Eine Robinsonade
Hydre Editions, October 2023, novel, German

On a desert island, a man stands on the beach and tells a joke about a man on the beach on a desert island. But he has nothing to laugh about. The shipwrecked man, who was once called Jean-Marie and now calls himself Robinson, has made a new life for himself: Stockpiled supplies, built a hut – and erected fences. After all, nobody is supposed to take away his painstakingly amassed possessions. Pirates, for example. Or even man-eaters, like Robinson Crusoe. Who knows how long you can stay alone on a desert island?

Das Bau (Eva Herunter, Katharina Hummer, Julia Obleitner) Hrsg., Wild Site
Point Nemo Publishing, Spring 2024, German/ English

Wild Site is the discovery of the fleeting by-products of a constantly changing city: gaps between buildings, fallow land, intermediate and residual spaces, “wild places”. Five conversations with researchers from the fields of biology, geology, climatology, botany, landscape architecture, urbanism and architecture are accompanied by a photographic work by Zara Pfeifer. Edited by das BAU: Eva Herunter, Katharina Hummer and Julia Obleitner.

Fabienne Faust, Die Häuser von drüben
Éditions Phi, 2023, Short stories, German

They are stranded in the fast breath of the metropolises of refuge. What remains of their homes crumbles in memory. They are storm watchers who have travelled far away to see Scampia, to reconcile with the past or to land a newspaper scoop. They mourn what remains. They want to be remembered like Egypt remembers Alaa al-Aswany, like Janina Rachmaninov remembers her dream of spring.

CNL, 2023, German

Under the deliberately ambiguous title Verhaltensweisen, Hamen explores real and artistically enriched landscapes, the all too frequent precariousness of (research) work in the humanities, the people and what it means to be a writer among them. The result is a moving poetological reflection on the power and powerlessness of literature, the status of the writer in a society defined by material values and – despite all the adversities and impasses – the empowering and exhilarating effect of writing.

Samuel Hamen, Jeff Schinker, Elise Schmit, Larisa Faber, Theater théâtre theatre Theater 1
Hydre Editions, November 2023, Theatre, German, English, French, Luxembourgish

In the Théâtr/e series, important literary voices from Luxembourg present new theatre plays. The play So dunkel hier by Elise Schmit is about ex-Gauleiter Simon on his way to Luxembourg, where he is to be put on trial. In PatrIdiot by Jeff Schinker, two actors rehearse a play about migration and racism in Luxembourg. De Geescht oder D’Mumm Séis by Samuel Hamen is an adaptation of the play of the same name by Dicks (Edmond de la Fontaine), the founder of Luxembourg theatre. 340x by Larisa Faber is about the life of a man divided into three time periods and reveals questionable transactions and childhood traumas.

*Guy Helminger, Das Geräusch der Stillleben. Stories
capybarabooks, October 2023, Short stories, German

Das Geräusch der Stillleben is an artfully interwoven puzzle. Secondary characters in one story become the main character in another, objects change hands from story to story. At some point, the still life has a 56.75 degree inclination and can no longer be stopped.

Wilhelm Holzbauer, Holzbauer – Schriften zur Architektur
Point Nemo Publishing, Spring 2024, German

The publication Holzbauer – Schriften zur Architektur honours the literary legacy of one of the greats of Austrian post-war architecture, whose architectural legacy has already filled several books. Holzbauer, who was also a well-educated and well-read man, spent a lifetime writing; he approached it with depth, verve and humour. The editors have made their selection from a large collection: Autobiographical material, essays on his own buildings, essays and texts on architecture in general, accompanied by photographs and sketches.

Raymond Schaack, Im Banne des Unendlichen
Éditions Phi, 2023, Poetry, German

This book is the author’s twentieth published work, the second volume of Japanese haiku and the third volume of poetry published by Phi after Masques magnétiques (2016) and Mahlstrom Zeit (2019).

Faby Schintgen, Blaustufen
Op der Lay, 2023, novel, German

Provocative and humorous, Faby Schintgen (*1982, Luxembourg) paints a vivid picture of love, family and self-realisation in her debut novel. Her defiant protagonist fights for new freedom and encourages change. She hoped for the fulfilment of her life’s desires, but the idealised image of maternal self-sacrifice cannot do justice to Mel’s need for self-realisation. Suddenly everything turns upside down and she has to throw off her supermom cape for good, along with her black and white world view.

Margret Steckel, Mutterrache. Novelle
capybarabooks, 3rd edition November 2023, novella, German

In the novella “Mutterrache”, Margret Steckel succeeds in using the skilfully interwoven plot threads to address issues of guilt and neglect within a family without taking sides. Although there is probably no one in this story who can ultimately absolve themselves of guilt, the author allows the reader to reconstruct the course of the tragedy using the flashbacks and to form their own judgement – without condemning, because Margret Steckel loves her characters too much for that. Even when they are difficult.

Anna Valentiny, Hortus Alienum – Scenographies of Nobody’s Voyage
Point Nemo Publishing, Spring 2024, German/English

Author Anna Valentiny’s first book Hortus Alienum – Scenographies of Nobody’s Voyage is a narrative about being human. The protagonist of the story, Nobody, cannot escape her narrative in any act and has to wander through the artificial park landscape of Hortus Alienum, scene by scene. She is accompanied by the chorus.

CNL, 2023, German

The title suggests inconsistency, aimlessness, non-committal blubbering… A perfectly successful deceptive manoeuvre, because with this slim volume Nora Wagener presents a substantial poetological reflection on the constitution of the writer, on the possibilities (and limits) of literature and the ability of literary writing to create self-determined realities.

In the field of literature and publishing, Kultur | lx advises and supports foreign publishers and professionals from the publishing sector who wish to contribute to the development and dissemination of Luxembourg authors and literary creation.

Two types of support in particular, the Publishing support and the Translation support, are aimed at foreign publishers:

The Publishing support for Luxembourg authors with foreign publishers (commercial companies or non-profit organisations) aims to make works created in Luxembourg known internationally and is intended to contribute to the international dissemination of Luxembourgish literary creation.

The Translation support is intended to contribute to the development and dissemination of Luxembourg’s literary heritage by supporting foreign publishers and theatre structures (performance venues, producers) in the translation of Luxembourgish literature.

The following text genres are eligible for funding: Anthology; comic and graphic novels; biography; drama; literary essay; children’s and youth literature; poetry; prose

The next deadlines for submitting projects are: 27 June and 5 December 2024.

All applications will be reviewed by the Literature and Publishing Selection Committee.

Recent translations and literary publications supported by Kultur | lx

By promoting translations and publications by Luxembourgish authors with foreign publishers, Kultur | lx gives readers in other countries access to Luxembourgish literature.

Discover the most recently translated and supported works from the Grand Duchy:

Nathalie Ronvaux, Le Chesterfield du Cinquième (Éditions Guy Binsfeld, 2021)
Published by Aviana Publishing House (2023)
Translated by Krasimira Kirova

Jean Portante, Depois do Tremor, Editacuja Editora, 2023

Bernd Marcel Gonner, Re-belln, KILLROY media Verlag, 2024

Robert Weis, Retour à Kyoto, Transboréal, 2023
Emile Hemmen, A l’écoute du sablier, Editions Folle Avoine, 2023
Jean Portante, Œuvres Poétiques Tome 2, La rumeur libre éditions, 2024
Hélène Tyrtoff, Retours de lignes, APIC, Spring 2024

Jean Portante, Concezioni, Edizione Kolibris, 2023
Paul Mathieu, Le Temps d’un souffle, bilingual edition, Edizione Kolibris, 2024
Jean Portante, L’étrange langue (Éditions Le Taillis Pré, 2002)
Published by Edizione Kolibris (2023)
Translated by Chiara De Luca

Jean Portante, Diario de un olvidador intimo, Mantis Editores, 2023
Jean Portante, Mrs Haroy o la memoria de la ballena, Granises, 2023

Jean Portante, Depois do Tremor, Editora Exclamação, 2023

Tullio Forgiarini, Céruse (Hydre Éditions, 2020)
Published by New Human Publisher (November 2024)
Translated by Deniz Gunce Demirhisar

From 25 November until 3 December the European Union was guest of honour at the 37th edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the largest book fair in the Americas and second-largest book fair in the world. 2200 publishing houses representing 49 countries were present at this year’s edition.

With a 1300 m2 pavilion, designed by a Barcelona-based architecture studio and under the slogan « Building a Union of Cultures », the EU presented the European cultural diversity and contemporary creative dynamics with a rich programme for the public and professionals from the book sector generating new spaces for collaboration and dialogue.

For the EU’s literary programme more than 70 writers from the EU’s 27 countries and from Ukraine participated. The authors Nathalie Ronvaux and Jean Portante represented the delegation from Luxembourg. Both authors participated in several readings and roundtables on various topics in exchange with other European authors like Pascal Quignard, Elena Alexieva or Colm Tóibín. Jean Portante, well known in Latin America for his translations into French of Latin American poets and also himself being translated and published in Spanish, notably in Mexico, also presented at the Guadalajara International Book Fair the bilingual edition Diario De Un Olvadaor Íntimo Y Otros Poemas, published by the Mexican publishing house Mantis Editores, and Mrs Haroy y la memoria de la ballena, published by the Mexican publishing house La Otra and the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa. Both publications received a publishing support by Kultur | lx. Outside of the Guadalajara Book Fair, Luxembourg literature was also present at the Fiesta Literaria 2023 at the Patán Ale House in Guadalajara. Together with the Colombian poet Felipe García Quintero Jean Portante read from and talked about Diario De Un Olvidador Íntimo Y Otros Poemas.

The Luxembourg music sector also participated in the EU’s artistic programme. The opening concert on 25 November was given by the European Union Youth Orchestra, with the participation of the young Luxembourg trumpeter Philippe Neumann and accompanied by 40 young Mexican musicians. In the „Añoranza“ concert on 29 November pianist Francesco Tristano played together with the French-Lebanese pianist Rami Khalifé.

For the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Luvina, the literary magazine of the University of Guadalajara, published a new book about the literatures of the European Union which also highlights some poems by Nathalie Ronvaux and Jean Portante in Spanish translation. The Guadalajara International Book Fair created a dialogue and exchange plateform between European writers, artists, professionals from the book sector and Latin Amercian authors, artists as well as professionals from the book sector.

From 25 November to 3 December, the European Union will be guest of honour at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the biggest literary event in the Spanish-speaking world. Nathalie Ronvaux and Jean Portante make up the Luxembourg delegation.

This will be a first for the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, which in its 36 previous editions has welcomed countries, cities or regions, but never a community beyond the confines of a nation-state.

The fair, which is aimed at both professionals and the general public, is also a cultural festival in which literature plays a major role, with a rich programme featuring authors from every continent and language, highlighting European cultural diversity and contemporary creative dynamics.

As guest of honour, the EU will have a prominent presence with a 1300 m² pavilion located in a central and visible position within the FIL premises. It is currently being designed by a Barcelona-based architecture studio with a multinational team of European and Latin American architects. The pavilion will reflect the principles of openness, inclusion, hospitality, sustainability, diversity and unity.

Luxembourg will be represented through the voices of authors Nathalie Ronvaux and Jean Portante, the latter being well known in Latin America not only for having lived there for a long time, but also for his translations into French of Latin American poets, himself being translated and published in Spanish, notably in Mexico.

Programme :
Wednesday 29 November from 6.00 pm to 7.20 pm
“Books and letters to provoke dialogue” with Pascal Quignard, Jurga Vilė , Nikos Bakounakis, Jean Portante
Moderation: Sylvia Georgina Estrada
Venue: Salón 1, ground floor, Expo Guadalajara

Thursday 30 November, 6.00 pm to 7.20 pm
“Stories of Exclusion. fight with words” with Elena Alexieva , Stejarel Olaru , Nathalie Ronvaux , Colm Tóibín
Venue: Salón 1, ground floor, Expo Guadalajara

After having been guest of honour at the 39th Marché de la Poésie, Luxembourg returns to the 40th Marché de la Poésie, the largest poetry event in France. Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg will honour the richness and diversity of Luxembourg poetry from 7 to 11 June at the Place Saint Sulpice in Paris on booth 515, a meeting place for poets, publishers, professionals and the public.

The stand, shared with Redfoxpress, will showcase the diversity of Luxembourg poetry and will be a meeting place for poets, publishers, professionals and enthusiastic audiences from all walks of life during the five days of the Market.

Luxembourg poetry will be honoured on the stage of the marquee on Sunday 11 June:
3.15 pm / Paroles d’éditeur#4
on the occasion of the publication of Tout battement est secret /
Poésie de Cuba 1959-2022 (Éditions Caractères) Jean Portante

4:30 pm / Poetry from elsewhere#5 / Luxembourg
Paul Mathieu
Moderation: Florent Toniello
organised with Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg

6.15 pm / Tribute to Anise Koltz
by Jean Portante and his publisher friends

The Kulturfabrik will host one of the Périphéries du Marché on 19 June: Literary encounter with Ulrike Bail, Florent Toniello, Laure Limongi and Guillaume Artous-Bouvet
Musical accompaniment: Triana y Luca

Discover the complete programme on the Marché de la Poésie’s website.

Relive the 2022 edition of the Marché de la Poésie in our aftermovie below:

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After a long hiatus, the Leipzig Book Fair took place again from the 27th until 30th April. This year, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg organised the national presence bringing together six Luxembourg publishers (Black Fountain Press, Capybarabooks, Editions Guy Binsfeld, Hydre Editions, Kremart Editions and Point Nemo Publishing, which presented their newest publications. The Book Fair is the second largest one in Germany and the first large trade meeting of the year.

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The award ceremony for the European Union Prize For Literature took also place on 28th April at the Leipzig Book Fair. The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognises emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond. Luxembourg author Jeff Schinker was one of the nominees for “Ma vie sous les tentes. This year’s prize was awarded to the Croatian writer Martina Vidaić.

In the context of Leipzig Liest, the largest European Reading Festival, two events with Luxembourgish authors took place. On 29th April, Maxime Weber, Claire Schmartz, Samuel Hamen and Nico Helminger (aka Tomas Bjørnstad) read from their latest publication at the naTo in Leipzig, and discussed with Thomas Hummitzsch, who moderated the event, about the topic “What if…? Between fiction and speculation”. The audience got to discover speculative and dystopic Fiction from Luxembourg. On Sunday, 30th April, Editions Guy Binsfeld co-organised with Kultur | lx a “Liesmatinée Crémant-Mélange: österreich trifft Luxemburg – Stadtgeflüster” with the Luxembourg author Nico Helminger (aka Tomas Bjørnstad) and the Austrian author Ferdinand Schmalz at the Leipzig Book Fair.

With 274.000 visitors, the Leipzig Book Fair provides an important platform to promote and boost the profile of Luxembourgish literature, the authors and publishing houses. Readings at Leipzig Liest allow the authors to present their work and for the audience to discover the diverse Luxembourgish literary creation. Furhtermore, the presence at the book fair allow Luxembourgish authors and editors also to meet and connect with other writers, publishers, and literary agents for new collaborations, as well as new opportunities for new projects

On the occasion of Luxembourg’s presence at the upcoming Leipzig Book Fair, we present the latest publications of Luxembourgish literature in German as well as the novels of the authors reading at the Leipzig Book Fair(*).

* Tomas Bjørnstad, Von der schönen Erde, nominated for the Servais prize 2023
Éditions Guy Binsfeld, 2022, Fiction, German

In Von der schönen Erde (Éditions Guy Binsfeld, 2022), which is already the third work in an entire series of books, the Norwegian-Luxembourgian author Tomas Bjørnstad (heteronym of the well-known Luxembourgian author Nico Helminger) revives the literary avant-garde in the style of Jorge Luis Borges or Julio Cortázar. The backdrop is a town that threatens to develop into a smart city with rapid strides, leaving the people who live in it disoriented. The author creates a game in which worlds and identities merge.

* Samuel Hamen, Wie die Fliegen
Diaphanes, 14. April 2023, Fiction, German

Sent by the Academy, a security agency whose agents pursue saboteurs or root out resistance cells in the districts, a detective travels to a remote town to find the missing teenager Saul. Here, an unbearable hot wind blows daily, and the more the inhabitants, an isolated institute and the scenic surroundings come into view, the more the impression intensifies that everything is fine here – and at the same time nothing is above board. The “decimation”, in which almost all the animals disappeared in one day, and the proceedings at the institute remain unfathomable for the time being. The idyll here seems only a play of desolation, reality only a plaything of power. Soon, Samuel Hamen’s debut novel is no longer just about local unrest or a youth struggling to find a good future, but about much more, about digital ways of life, about ecological grief, ultimately about how we can live in a world that is irretrievably lost to us.

Nathalie Jacoby & Ludivine Jehin (Hg.), Imaginer Servais – Preisgekrönte Literatur erleben
CNL, April 2023, Exhibtion catalogue, German & French

After the successful exhibition Imaginer Servais, the CNL in collaboration with photographer Véronique Kolber (Luxembourg) and sound designers Martin Engler (Berlin), Paul Ford (London) and Luka Tonar (Luxembourg) invite you to (re)visit the exhibition on paper!

Ludivine Jehin & Daniela Lieb (Hg.), Fundstücke – Trouvailles 5
CNL, 2022, Anthology, German & French

After a two-year hiatus, Fundstücke presents itself in a new guise and format, but remains true to the CNL’s dual vocation as an archive and a research institution: enjoy the work and research questions surrounding the archival object and document, as well as various contributions in the field of literary and cultural studies! Discover also the other volumes of the series!

* Claire SchmartzBUG. 010000100101010101000111
Hydre Editions, 2022, Fiction, German

The professor and top researcher is working on her latest project, the intelligent robot BUD. She works tirelessly on it because she wants the robot to be perfect. For testing purposes, she moves the prototype into a new flat. But something is wrong with the algorithms, because BUD makes inexplicable mistakes. There is a bug.

* Maxime Weber, Das Gangrän
Kremart Edition, 2021, Fiction, German

In various places around the world, a blue, shimmering, root-like web appears that causes all organic life to decay immediately. During the train journey from Paris to Luxembourg, the newly graduated Jeanne reads about this strange natural phenomenon on the Internet, which is spreading rapidly and is said to have already claimed several lives. The life-destroying phenomenon becomes the all-determining factor in the formerly tranquil town of Pardange in Luxembourg.

From 29 March to 2 April, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg organised for the first time a national presence at the Brussels Book Fair, honouring Luxembourg’s literary creation, primarily in French. The “Livres du Luxembourg” stand brought together four Luxembourg publishers (Capybarabooks, Hydre Éditions, KIWI E.L.G. and PassaParola Éditions), which presented their French-language publications in literature and non-fiction.
This major event allowed the public to discover and meet the authors at book signings, including Antoine Pohu, Tullio Forgiarini and Nathalie Ronvaux, as well as the various Luxembourg publishing houses present.

In the margins of the fair, a networking event for Luxembourg and Quebec book actors was organised in collaboration with the Délégation Générale du Québec and the Luxembourg Embassy in Brussels at the Galerie Nosbaum Reding in Brussels to encourage and develop collaborations in the book sector. This event offered a unique networking opportunity to discuss possible new collaborations and projects with actors of the Quebec book sector.

 « Osons l’imaginaire » (Let’s dare to imagine)

As part of the fair’s programme, a meeting/reading with Luxembourg authors Tullio Forgiarini and Nathalie Ronvaux (moderated by Valerija Berdi, journalist at Radio 100.7) was organised around the theme of “Transgressions and feminist perspectives”. On this occasion, Tullio Forgiarini read extracts from La ballade de Lucienne Jourdain (Hydre Éditions) and Nathalie Ronvaux from Moi, je suis Rosa! (Capybarabooks). The discussion gave the audience an insight into the authors’ writing practice and creative process.

The Brussels Book Fair was an opportunity to develop a new format to present Luxembourg publishers and authors on Instagram. Kultur | lx will continue this series of portraits over the course of the next few international fairs.

From 26 to 30 April, you can discover Luxembourg’s literary creation in german at the Leipzig Book Fair.