A Reading and Dialogue with
Daniela Emminger, Dana Grigorcea, and Stefanie de Velasco
From the housing projects of Berlin, to the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, with foray through the streets of Bucharest, the 2019 edition of the annual Zeitgeist Literature Festival brought you the best in contemporary German-language literature. The Goethe-Institut Washington, the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, and the Embassy of Switzerland welcomed three leading German-language novelists to the nation’s capital – where they presented their latest work in a reading and conversation with three prominent local writers.
This year’s overarching theme, “The New Nostalgia,“ highlighted compelling new works by Stefanie de Velasco from Germany (Tigermilch / Tiger Milk), Daniela Emminger from Austria (Kafka mit Flügeln / Kafka with Wings), and Dana Grigorcea from Switzerland (Das primäre Gefühl der Schuldlosigkeit /An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence) that explore self-discovery, memory, multicultural identity and friendship, and the relationships between past and present. The writers were joined on stage by prominent Washington, D.C. authors E. Ethelbert Miller, Melissa Scholes Young, and Josh Weiner for discussion and reading (in English).
The English-language conversation was moderated by poet and translator Suzanne Zweizig.
Presented in partnership with The Writer’s Center.
When: Monday, April 1, 2019 | 6:30 pm
Where: La Pop Cultural Salon
1847 Columbia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20000
About the German-Language Authors
Stefanie de Velasco
Stefanie de Velasco, born 1978 in Oberhausen, studied European Ethnology and Political Science in Bonn, Berlin, and Warsaw. In 2011 she received the Literaturpreis Prenzlauer Berg for her debut novel. In 2012, she was a fellow at the writers‘ workshop of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation. In 2013, she received the writing fellowship of the Schöppingen Artists' Village. At the moment, she is a fellow at the Munich Screenplay Workshop. She lives and works in Berlin.
Daniela Emminger was born in 1975 in Upper Austria. Since 2008, she has lived and worked as a writer and freelance journalist in Vienna. Before that, Emminger was a copywriter in Hamburg and Berlin, and an editor in Lithuania and Latvia. Previous publications from Emminger include Leben für Anfänger (2004), Schwund (2014), Die Vergebung muss noch warten (2015), and Gemischter Satz (2016). She is the recipient of multiple fellowships and awards. Most recently, she was on the longlist of the Austrian Book Prize in 2016 for Gemischter Satz.
Dana Grigorcea was born in 1979 in Bucharest, Romania. A Swiss-Romanian essayist, novelist, children’s book author, and philologist, she completed her Romanian and German Abitur (examination at the end of secondary school) at the German School of Bucharest. From 1998 to 2002, she studied German and Dutch Philology at the University of Bucharest, receiving her Master of Arts. Her debut novel, Baba Rada (2011), won the Swiss Literary Pearl.
About the Local Authors
Melissa Scholes Young
Melissa Scholes Young is the author of the novel Flood, winner of the Literary Fiction Category for the 2017 Best Book Award from American Book Fest. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and Poets & Writers. She’s a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review and Editor of Grace in Darkness: D.C. Women Writers. Scholes Young was named a Bread Loaf Camargo Fellow and a Quarry Farm Fellow at the Center for Mark Twain Studies. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C.
Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry (all from University of Chicago Press). His Berlin Notebook, reporting about the refugee crisis in Germany, was published by Los Angeles Review of Books in 2016. He has received Whiting, Guggenheim, and Rome Prize fellowships, as well as the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, which took him to Berlin for 2012-13. He teaches at University of Maryland, and lives in Washington D.C.
E. Ethelbert Miller
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist and author of two memoirs and several poetry collections. He hosts the WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and hosts and produces The Scholars on UDC-TV. In 2018 Miller was appointed an ambassador for the Authors Guild. His latest book If God Invented Baseball (City Point Press) was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the American Library Association’s Black Caucus.
Moderator Suzanne Zweizig is the translation editor for Poet Lore. Her poetry has appeared in such publications as Beloit Poetry Journal, Subtropics, Verse Daily, and Poet Lore, Waccamaw Review. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Washington D.C. Arts Commission and was a semi-finalist for The Nation/Discovery prize in 2003. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Florida, where she studied with German translator Michael Hofmann, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.