Spycher: Leuk Literature Prize
Awarded annually by the Schloss Leuk Foundation since 2001, the Spycher: Leuk Literature Prize is unique. Every year for three to five years, the prizewinners are invited for an eight-week stay in the town of Leuk.
The town of Leuk owes its status to its significance in the middle ages as an important center in Valais, and to 1500 years of colorful history. At its feet extends a landscape with the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park, a meeting point of two cultures and languages, that is crossed by the wild Rhone River and opens onto wide horizons. The castle renovated by Mario Botta, the kestrels around the Rathaus, an ossuary with over 20,000 skulls and an impressive Dance of Death, the oldest Cornalin vine in Switzerland, and much more are an invitation to immerse oneself in stories and history. Between Rilke’s home in his final years and the hill on which he is buried, Leuk inspires, attracts, and enchants those who visit.
Since 2001, renowned authors have received the Spycher: Leuk Literature Prize: Joanna Bator, Lukas Bärfuss, Marcel Beyer, John Burnside, Mircea Cărtărescu, Gerhard Falkner, Lavinia Greenlaw, Durs Grünbein, Stefan Hertmans, Thomas Hettche, Michael Hofmann, Barbara Honigmann, Felicitas Hoppe, Abbas Khider, Barbara Köhler, László Krasznahorkai, Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Martin Mosebach, Marie NDiaye, Ulrich Peltzer, Michael Roes, Daniel de Roulet, Gilles Rozier, Judith Schalansky, Katharina Schultens, Mikhail Shiskin, Alissa Walser und Adam Zagajewski. The 2018 prize was awarded to Thomas Lehr.
This year, former Spycher: Leuk Literature Prize winners Lavinia Greenlaw and Durs Grünbein will be participating in the Leukerbad International Literary Festival.
Permanent traces of the authors’ stays appear through Dörlemann Press’ Spycher imprint, like Felicitas Hoppe’s story Der beste Platz der Welt, whose title refers to Leuk, and Barbara Köhler’s 36 Ansichten des Berges Gorwetsch. Urs Engeler Editor has also published seven Spycher prizewinners in Die Berge sind mir fremd, edited by Thomas Hettche. Gerhard Falkner’s novella Bruno is also set in the region around Leuk.
The 2019 Spycher: Leuk Literature Prize will be awarded on Sunday, September 15, at 11 am in the impressive atmosphere of Schloss Leuk.