Featuring Stefanie de Velasco, Daniela Emminger, and Dana Grigorcea
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 brings you the best in contemporary German-language literature. Please join the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Embassy of Switzerland in welcoming three leading German-language novelists to the nation’s capital – where they will present their latest work in a reading and conversation with three prominent local writers.
This year’s overarching theme, “The New Nostalgia,“ highlights 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 will be joined on stage by prominent Washington, DC authors E. Ethelbert Miller, Melissa Scholes Young, and Josh Weiner for discussion and reading (in English).
Doors open at 5:30 at La Pop Cultural Salon in Adams Morgan, DC. Guests are invited to enjoy beverage and food offerings (cash bar) at this unique underground space before the event, and will also have the opportunity to engage with the writers both before and after the reading. A reception will take place afterwards. The English-language conversation will be moderated by poet and translator Suzanne Zweizig.
Presented in partnership with The Writer’s Center.
We encourage all guests to arrive early. Seating is limited. Any open seats may be released to walk-up visitors 10 minutes before the program.
About the German-Language Authors
Stefanie de Velasco © Joachim Gern; Daniela Emminger © Nina Keinrath; Dana Grigorcea © Ayse Yavas
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.
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
(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
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; Josh Weiner © Josh Weiner; E Ethelbert Miller © E Ethelbert Miller
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, The Washington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poet Lore,
and Poets & Writers
. She’s a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review and Editor of Grace in Darkness: DC 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, DC.
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, DC.
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 a poet and translator living in Washington, DC, where she serves as the Translation Editor for Poet Lore
magazine. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals. and she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Washington, DC Arts Commission.