Mustafa Al-Slaiman was born in Jordan in 1960. He has lived in Germany since 1980, and he studied applied linguistics and cultural studies. He has taught conference interpretation and Arabic language and culture, and has interpreted for the foreign office. For nearly eleven years, he has been coordinator of literary translations from German to Arabic for Kalima Abu Dhabi. He has translated a number of works from German to Arabic and from Arabic to German, and is the editor of many works from the Kalima publishing house. He lives and works in Berlin.
Lukas Bärfuss is a playwright, novelist, and essayist born in Thun in 1971. His plays have been performed throughout the world, and his novels have been translated into almost twenty languages. He lives in Zurich. He has also made himself a name as a critical thinker, a brilliant speaker, and an uncompromising commentator on current political and social conditions. What Bärfuss often finds lacking is not simply morality in the clichéd sense, but rather the will to continually engage with the question of what is real in a changing, highly mediatized world. His most recent books are Krieg und Liebe. Essays. (Wallstein Verlag 2018), and Hagard, a novel (Wallstein Verlag 2017).
Thorsten Dönges studied German language and literature and history in Bamberg. Since 2000, he has worked at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, where he coordinates the contemporary German-language literature program. He first discovered and fell in love with the Leukerbad International Literary Festival as a moderator in 2006.
Irene Grüter was born in 1979 and studied German language and literature and history in Bern and Berlin. She works primarily as a freelance culture journalist for various media, including the taz, rbb Kulturradio, and the Tagesanzeiger. Since 2007, she has been a moderator and editor for Radio SRF2 Kultur in Basel.
Etrit Hasler was born in 1977 in St. Gallen and is one of the pioneers of Swiss slam poetry. He is also a spoken-word artist and often serves as a moderator and event organizer. He is also active as a journalist and translator of English poetry, and sits on the St. Gallen city and canton councils. He is a board member of the AdS, the Swiss Authors Association.
Katja Lange-Müller was born in 1951 in East Berlin. She trained as a typesetter, then as psychiatric nursing aid. From 1979 to 1982 she studied at the Johannes R. Becher Institute for Literature in Leipzig, which was followed by a one-year study trip in the Mongolian People’s Republic and work at the Wilhelm Pieck carpet factory in Ulaanbaatar. Thereafter, she spent half a year as an editorial assistant at the Altberliner publishing house, after which she emigrated to West Berlin. She has won many prizes, including the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize (1986), the Kleist Prize (2013), and the Frankfurt Poetry Lectureship (2016). Her most recent works include: Das Problem als Katalysator. Frankfurter Poetik Vorlesungen (Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2018), and the novel Drehtür. (Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2016).
Christine Lötscher is a literary scholar and critic. She is currently a research associate at the Institute für Literarisches Schreiben at the University of Hildesheim, as well as a lecturer at the Institute for Popular Culture Studies at the University of Zurich. From 2014 to 2016 she was on the team of critics for Swiss television’s Literaturclub broadcast and was a member of the 2018 German Book Prize jury. Das Zauberbuch als Denkfigur, eine Studie zu Fantasy was published in 2014; Die Alice-Maschine. Figurationen der Unruhe in der Populärkultur.
Manfred Metzner is a publisher (Das Wunderhorn), exhibition curator, journalist, and lawyer in Heidelberg. He is the editor and literary executor of the Bauhaus student Ré Soupault and editor of the works of the surrealist Philippe Soupault. From 2000-2010 he was chair of the Kurt Wolff Foundation for the promotion of a diverse literary and publishing scene (Leipzig). From 2006-2014 he was a lecturer in cultural promotion and the publishing industry at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim. In 2008 he was named an Officier dans l’ordre national du mérite by the French president. In 2012 the Kurt Wolff Prize was given to his publishing house, Das Wunderhorn. From 1994-2016 he was director of the Heidelberger Literaturtage, and from 2010-2017 he was spokesperson for the Rhine-Neckar festival region.
Robert Renk is a bookseller and literature promoter in Innsbruck. He successfully abandoned studies in German language and literature and mathematics, and is the editor of the magazine of the Wagner’sche university bookstore and several other publications. He is a guest lecturer in cultural promotion at the University of Innsbruck. Recent publications include Stilistische Instanzen. Zu Karl-Markus Gauss und Alois Hotschnig in Text + Kritik, Sonderband Österreich IX/15, and Ilija Trojanow—wo meine Heimat ist in Literatur + Kritik, issue 531/532, March 2019.
Reto Sorg teaches German literature at the University of Lausanne and directs the Robert Walser Zentrum in Berlin. His areas of specialty are Literary Modernity, Intermedia, Contemporary literature, and Swiss literature. His most recent publications include: Medien der Autorschaft. Formen literarischer (Selbst-)Inszenierung (2013), Ohne Achtsamkeit beachte ich alles. Robert Walser und die bildende Kunst (2014), and Spazieren muss ich unbedingt. Robert Walser und die Kultur des Gehens (2019).
Raphael Urweider (1974) is a poet, playwright, translator, and musician. He has published several volumes of poetry and written plays, including in collaboration with Samuel Schwarz, Pedro Lenz, and Matto Kämpf. His books include Wildern (Hanser 2018), Alle deine Namen. Gedichte von der Liebe und der Liederlichkeit (Dumont 2008), and Lichter in Menlo Park (Dumont 2000).
Christian Zehnder was born in 1983 in Bern, and studied literature and philosophy in Fribourg and Munich. He works at the Institute for Slavic Studies at the University of Fribourg. Following stints in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw and, most recently, Chicago, he now lives in Bern. Previous publications include the stories and novels Gustavs Traum, Julius, Die Welt nach dem Kino and, in spring 2019, Die verschobene Stadt, as well as writings on Russian and Polish literature and translations of Russian poetry.
Stefan Zweifel is a freelance journalist and curator in Zürich and translator of de Sade, Rousseau, and Cendrars. He led the SRF literary broadcast Literaturclub until 2014. Together with Juri Steiner, he recently curated the show Imagine 68 at the Zurich Landesmuseum, and with Michael Pfister published the book Die italienische Reise by D. A. F. De Sade (Matthes & Seitz 2019).