Reading Austrian Literature in New York
The Austrian Cultural Forum has established itself as a facilitator and promoter of contemporary Austrian literature offering a venue for its reading, discussion, and performance. A young literature festival, for example, brought together prominent Austrian literary critic Klaus Nüchtern and writer Josef Haslinger with emerging young poets and novelists from Austria, Germany, and the United States. With its active presence at the cultural scene of New York, the Austrian Cultural Forum lives up to the cosmopolitan demand of the metropolis without failing to assert its unique national artistic contribution.
The Austrian Cultural Forum also collaborates closely with the Goethe-Institut and the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York in the Crossroads series that is dedicated to jointly promoting German-language literary events. Recent events included How Far Was Vienna? An evening of readings and discussions with prominent Austrian-Jewish authors Carol Asher, Eva Kollisch, Bruno Schwebel, Lore Segal and Leo Spitzer. They read from newly published memoirs and fiction on growing up and growing older away from their homeland.
One of the first steps toward popularizing any foreign-language literature is to make it available in translation. With the ACF Translation Prize, the Austrian Cultural Forum seeks to facilitate a cultural exchange by supporting outstanding translations of works by contemporary Austrian writers. Established in 2009 in collaboration with the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and Words Without Borders, the ACF Translation Prize hopes to be a vital contribution to the currently slim output of Austrian works in translation available to American audiences. To learn more about the ACF Translation Prize, click here.
Another important contribution to popularizing Austrian literature is the Forum’s dynamic and ongoing participation in the European Book Club. The European Book Club meets each month at a different cultural institute, and discusses a well-known, contemporary novel from the respective country. It is a joint initiative with the Czech, French, German, Italian, and Spanish cultural institutes in New York City.