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8:00 PM20:00

Reading: Mark Mayer and May-Lan Tan


The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present a reading with Mark Mayer and May-Lan Tan to celebrate the release of AERIALISTS, Mayer’s debut short-story collection.

Free entry. Limited seating. This reading is in English.


About the authors:

Mark Mayer has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. From 2012 to 2014, he lived at Cornell College’s Center for the Literary Arts as the Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer. His first book, AERIALISTS, won the Michener-Copernicus Prize and is now out from Bloomsbury USA.  

May-Lan Tan’s story collection THINGS TO MAKE AND BREAK is published by Sceptre in the UK and by Emily Books/Coffee House Press in the US. Her stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, The Atlas Review, Arete and The Reader. She lives in Berlin.

About the book:

"Mark Mayer writes with a humorous, wistful elegance. His stories are singular, as detached and intimate as dreaming." --Marilynne Robinson

Welcome to the sublime circus of Mark Mayer's Michener-Copernicus-winning debut, Aerialists, a fiercely inventive collection of nine stories in which classic carnival characters become ordinary misfits seeking grandeur in a lonely world.

Under the luminous tent of Mayer's prose, we see P.T. Barnum's caravan remade: A young misogynist finds a confidante in a cable-TV strongwoman. A realtor for the one percent invokes his inner murder clown. A skin-and-bones mathematician and his bearded wife plot revolution. A friendless peach farmer holds a funeral for a beloved elephant. And a model-train hobbyist prepares to throw his miniature world in the trash.

The circus has always been a collection of American exaggerations-the bold, the beautiful, the freakish, the big. Aerialists finds these myths living in the everyday. Mayer's deftly drawn characters illuminate these small-scale spectaculars, and their attempted acts of daring and feats of strength are rendered with humor, generosity, and uncommon grace.

Praise for AERIALISTS:

“Mayer's skill is unquestionable, and his range is astounding . . . An ambitious collection of short stories that heralds the coming of a new voice in American fiction.” –  Kirkus Reviews

“Mayer's high-wire debut exposes the weirdness of everyday life . . . Wittily subverts reader expectations with stories told in a realistic manner about characters or situations that all share a slightly surreal bent, resulting in a clever collection.” –  Publishers Weekly

“Poignant . . . Genuine . . . Expertly probes the tenuous connections between friends and families.” –  Shelf Awareness, starred review

“One of the best collections I've read in years. These stories are bright and muscular, luminous and generous, nimble and funny, tender and surprising at every turn.” –  Carmen Maria Machado, author of HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES

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to Apr 8

Fiction Writing I

In Fiction Writing I, we'll study the art of the short story, novella, and novel. Workshops of your own stories and novel excerpts will be supplemented by craft exercises and discussions. Students should have some prior workshop experience, either through Berlin Writers' Workshop (Creative Writing I) or a similar organization. A writing sample is required.

This class is taught in English.
Instructor: Matthew Nelson-Teutsch
Meets Mondays, 19:00-21:30
Location: Neukölln
Cost: €275.

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7:30 PM19:30

Reading: Kathleen Heil and Abdulkadir Musa


The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present a reading celebrating the work of Kathleen Heil and Abdulkadir Musa.

Free entry. Limited seating.

Readings will be presented in English (Heil) and Kurdish with German translation (Musa). Lesungen werden auf Englisch (Heil) und Kurdisch mit deutscher Übersetzung (Musa) sein.


About the authors:

Kathleen Heil is a writer, translator, and dancer. Her poetry appears in The New Yorker, The Cincinnati Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, her fiction in Fence, The Barcelona Review, and Five Points, her essays in Make, The Collagist, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and her literary translations in The Threepenny Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and Two Lines, among others. A recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, she lives in Berlin.

Abdulkadir Musa (b,1969, Kurdistan) is a poet and translator, studied French Language and Literature in Aleppo and Social Pedagogy at ASH Berlin, works as a social worker, a translator and cultural advisor. Scholarship for authors of non-German literature 2018 / Senate Department for Culture and Europe Department of Culture, Berlin.

- His lyrics, Your Wings Have Taught Me to Fly (Semakurd, Dubai, 2007 and 2013 AR - Istanbul ), were published in the Kurdish language, and have been translated into German, Spanish, French, English and Polish and Arabic. 
- Kurdish Voices from Rojava. A Kurdisch- English Poetry Anthology, Inner Child Press, ltd. USA, 2017

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8:00 PM20:00

Reading: Rebecca Rukeyser


The U.S. Embassy Literature Series presents an evening with Berlin Writers’ Workshop co-founder Rebecca Rukeyser. Rukeyser will read from The Homestead, a novel in progress.

English Theater Berlin
Tickets available for purchase here from €8.80.

About the book

From 1862 to 1986 the Homestead Act allotted 160 acres of land free of charge to any American man who could work the land for five years. The last decades of this Act populated Alaska, a state that still bears the nickname “The Last Frontier.”

Set in the early years of the 21st century, The Homestead looks into the final days of one of these Alaskan homesteads. Having lived on an unpopulated island in the Kodiak archipelago for decades, Lew and Megan Jenkins face economic strain and open their property to tourism. Their “remote lodge” aims to give vacationers a sense of the real West and the real Alaska—a pristine landscape molded by hard work. But Jenkins’ lodge is failing as a tourist destination and their marriage is dissolving.

About the reader

Rebecca Rukeyser is a fiction writer, co-founder of the Berlin Writers’ Workshop, and the recipient of a 2018 “Arbeitsstipendium nichtdeutschsprachige Literatur” – Grant for Non-German Literature, awarded by the Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa. Her work has appeared in such publications as Best American NonRequired Reading, The Massachusetts Review, and ZYZZYVA. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at Heinrich Heine Universität.

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7:30 PM19:30

Reading: Sarnath Banerjee and Dave Besseling


The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present an evening with Sarnath Banerjee and Dave Besseling.

Free entry. Limited seating.

About the authors

Sarnath Banerjee has written four books of graphic fiction. Corridor (Penguin, 2004), The Barn Owl’s Wonderous Capers (Penguin, 2007), The Harappa Files (Harper Collin, 2011) and All Quiet in Vikaspuri ( Harper Collins, 2015). Through these books he has explored the nature of the Indian middle-class and its transformation from Nehruvian socialism to full-fledged neoliberalism. The themes in these books included power, masculinity, bureaucracy, rumour, scandal, trade, class-system, urban sprawl, meritocracy, religion and the uncanny.

(Photo cred: Kathy Crown)

Dave Besseling is a journalist, editor and author, currently based in Berlin. He was formerly Deputy Editor of GQ India, was shortlisted for the Kurt Schork Award for International Journalism, and has published two non-fiction books – The Liquid Refuses to Ignite (Hachette), a memoir, and Laid In India (Penguin), a sociological reportage. His next book, Have You Seen This Man, is his first novel.

Lettrétage e.V.
Mehringdamm 61
10961 Berlin


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7:30 PM19:30

Reading: David Hermann Fox and Alistair Noon

Alistair Noon photo by Karl Hurst please credit.jpg
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The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present an evening with David Hermann Fox and Alistair Noon.

Free entry. Limited seating.

About the authors

Alistair Noon's publications include two poetry collections from Nine Arches Press (Earth Records and The Kerosene Singing), a recent pamphlet from Longbarrow Press (QUAD), a collaboration with poet Giles Goodland (Surveyors' Riddles, Sidekick Books), and translations of poetry from German and Russian, most recently Concert at a Railway Station, selected poems of Osip Mandelstam (Shearsman, September 2018). Born in 1970 near London, he has lived in Berlin since the early nineties, appeared at international sound poetry festivals in the late nineties, and founded and ran Berlin's Poetry Hearings festival from 2005 to 2008. He has published essays on the fall of the Berlin Wall, poetry and translocality, and Wuhan punk.

(Photo cred: Karl Hurst)

David Hermann Fox was born in Germany and grew up in England before moving to Berlin in 2013. He studied philosophy, theatre, and comparative literature, graduating from UCL with an MA in Comparative Literature. He has written and co-directed a number of documentaries about social issues such as fair trade and domestic violence, including, most recently, Es Soll Aufhören for Kinderschutz Schweiz, the Swiss Foundation for Child Protection. Hermann Fox is a co-creator and head writer of a TV drama that was recently sold to a production company and is currently completing THE UNDOING OF JOHNNY PENGUIN, his debut novel.

(Photo cred: Nikolaus Kim)

Lettrétage e.V.
Mehringdamm 61
10961 Berlin


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6:00 PM18:00

Reading: Lan Samantha Chang

  • John F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Berlin Writers' Workshop, together with the John F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien and the U.S. Embassy Literature Series, present an evening with Lan Samantha Chang.

Free entry. Limited Seating.

About the author:

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of a collection of short fiction, Hunger, and two novels, Inheritance and All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost.  Her work has been translated into nine languages and has been chosen twice for The Best American Short Stories. She has received creative writing fellowships from Stanford University, Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the program director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and May Brodbeck Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa.

Date and time:
Monday, June 18, 2018
6:00 PM

John F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien, Lansstr. 5-9
Freie Universität Berlin 14195 Berlin, Room 340

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7:30 PM19:30

Reading: Gregor Guth, Alan Mills, and Rebecca Rukeyser


The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present a trilingual reading event with Gregor Guth (Austria), Alan Mills (Guatemala) and Rebecca Rukeyser (USA). 

Free entry. Limited seating.

About the authors:

Gregor Guth, geboren 1979 in Wien. Studium der französischen Kulturwissenschaften in Wien und Paris. Studium am Deutschen Literaturinstitut Leipzig. Startstipendium für Literatur des österreichischen Bundeskanzleramtes 2014. Seine Kurzgeschichten und Gedichte wurden in zahlreichen Zeitschriften und Anthologien veröffentlicht (u. a. in LICHTUNGEN, kolik sowie im Sammelband zum MDR-Literaturwettbewerb). Er lebt in Berlin.

Alan Mills is a Guatemalan poet and writer recently selected as one of the 39 best Latin American writers under 39 years of age (List Bogotá 39/ Hay Festival). His poetry has been included in the most important anthologies of contemporary Latin American poetry and some of his work has been translated into French, English, German, Portuguese, among other languages. A translation in French of his micro-novel Sincopes was published in 2010. His poetry collection Pasan poesía en la televisión apagada was published in 2013 in Ecuador. A hybrid collection of his tweets, aphorisms, micro-stories, and micro-poems was published in Germany under the title of Eine Subkultur der Träume in 2015; and his experimental essay Hacking Coyote was published also in Germany in 2016. He resides in Berlin and Vienna while finishing a doctoral thesis on science fiction. 

Rebecca Rukeyser is a fiction writer, co-founder of the Berlin Writers' Workshop, and the recipient of a 2018 Arbeitsstipendium nichtdeutschsprachige Literatur/ Grant for Non-German Literature, awarded by the Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa. Her work has appeared in such publications as Best American NonRequired Reading, The Massachusetts Review, and ZYZZYVA. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing at Heinrich Heine Universität. 

About the space:

Die Lettrétage setzt als unabhängiges Literaturhaus in Berlin mit kuratierten Projekten seit 2006 innovative Impulse für die Literaturmetropole Berlin. Die Erprobung neuer Formen der Produktion und Präsentation von Literatur steht dabei im Mittelpunkt. Dazu zählt insbesondere die Suche nach neuen, transdisziplinären Formaten der literarischen Veranstaltung jenseits der konventionellen „Wasserglas-Lesung“.

Als Ankerinstitution der Freien Literaturszene Berlin engagiert sich die Lettrétage für die Solo-Selbständigen der literarischen Berufe sowie die vielfältigen literarischen Initiativen und freien Projektträger in der Stadt. Zweisprachige Literaturzeitschriften, Independent-Verlage, innovative Autorenprojekte, Übersetzerinitiativen, Lesebühnen und Lesereihen bieten eine beeindruckende Bandbreite an literarischen Aktionsräumen und Netzwerken, an Ideen und Akteuren, die eine lebhafte literarische Kultur entfalten und erheblich zur kulturellen Strahlkraft Berlins beitragen. Die Lebendigkeit und Vielfalt dieser Szene in Berlin zu erhalten, ihre Impulse aufzunehmen, ihr ein Podium zu bieten und sie darüber hinaus durch kostenfreie Beratungs-, Vernetzungs- und Weiterbildungsangebote strukturell zu stärken, ist ein zentraler Bestandteil des Lettrétage-Programms.

Die Lettrétage hat als aktives Gründungsmitglied gemeinsam mit Kolleg*innen das Netzwerk Freie Literaturszenen Berlin e.V. (NFLB) aufgebaut, das die kulturpolitischen Interessen der Freien Literaturszene Berlin bündelt und gegenüber Politik und Öffentlichkeit vertritt. Als Koordinatorin des europaweiten Netzwerks CROWD führt die Lettrétage in enger Zusammenarbeit mit zahlreichen internationalen Literaturorganisationen Projekte durch, die der sprach- und länderübergreifenden Vernetzung von Literaturschaffenden und -vermittlern sowie der publikumsnahen, zeitgemäßen Präsentation internationaler zeitgenössischer Literatur dienen.

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7:30 PM19:30

Reading: Heike Geißler and Andrea Scrima

Heike Geißler.jpg
Andrea Scrima.jpg

The Berlin Writers' Workshop and Lettrétage present a bilingual reading event celebrating the rerelease of Andrea Scrima's novel A Lesser Day and its new German edition, Wie viele Tage. Scrima will be joined by the novelist Heike Geißler (Rosa, Nichts, was tragisch wäre, Saisonarbeit) and appear in conversation with Berlin Writers' Workshop co-founder Rebecca Rukeyser. 

Free entry. Limited seating.

About the authors:

Heike Geißler is a writer. She lives in Leipzig. She is the author of Rosa, Nichts, was tragisch wäre and Saisonarbeit. The latter will be published by SEMIOTEXT(E) in fall 2018 in a translation by Katy Derbyshire.

Andrea Scrima studied fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, Germany, where she lives and works. Her first book, A Lesser Day, has just been rereleased in a second edition to accompany the publication of a German translation (Wie viele Tage, Literaturverlag Droschl, Graz). Scrima’s criticism appears in journals including The Rumpus, BOMB Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Music & Literature, The Quarterly Conversation, The Scofield, Schreibkraft, Manuskripte, and Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics. She was the recipient of a literature fellowship from the Berlin Council on Science, Research, and the Arts in Berlin, Germany and took part in a writing residency at the Ledig House / Art Omi program in Ghent, New York. Her current novel-in-progress was awarded second prize in the Glimmer Train Fall Fiction Open.

Prior to her decision to focus on literature, Scrima worked as a professional artist for many years, incorporating short fiction pieces into large-scale text installations. She has received numerous awards for her artistic work, including a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1989/1990) and the Lingen Art Prize (Kunstverein Lingen, Germany; 1996), and has exhibited internationally. 

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7:00 PM19:00

Reading: John Beer and Tod Wodicka


The Berlin Writers' Workshop

The Berlin Writers' Workshop and >top Schillerpalais present an evening with John Beer and Tod Wodicka. We're excited to welcome these two Berlin-based American writers for our first reading of the year.

Free entry. Limited seating.

About the authors:

John Beer is the author of the poetry collection The Waste Land and Other Poems (2010), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the chapbook Lucinda (2013). Beer received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the former literary assistant to poet Robert Lax, and the editor of Lax’s Poems (1962-1997) (2013). A former theater critic for Time Out Chicago, Beer’s criticism has appeared in Verse, the Denver QuarterlyChicago Review, and other magazines. 

Tod Wodicka is the author of The Household Spirit and All Shall Be Well; and All Shall Be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well, which was shortlisted for the Believer Book Award and translated into German, Spanish and Dutch. Both novels were published by Jonathan Cape, Pantheon and Vintage. His writing has been published in the GuardianGrantaTank Magazine, South as a State of Mind, Art Papers, the National, the New Statesman, and more. He was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1976 and currently divides his time between Berlin and New York, where he is working in television and on his third novel, Bathhouse. He'll be debuting material from Bathhouse.

>top Schillerpalais is a project space and a new home for the >top e.V. association. Schillerpalais was founded in 2002 by Schillerpalais e.V. as an initiative of artists and residents of the "Schillerkiez Neighborhood“ affiliated with the arts. >top e.V. started collaboration with Schillerpalais in 2015, offering content and a program packed with contemporary discourses around interdisciplinary art, (h)activism, and art education. >top Schillerpalais also includes a biolab.

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6:30 PM18:30

Launch Party!

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Please join us for the Berlin Writers' Workshop's official launch party! Come for food and drink, performances, and readings by Daniel Castro, V.V. Ganeshananthan, and Vauhini Vara. 

Daniel Castro's fiction and journalism have appeared in Tampa ReviewGambit WeeklyMiami Herald, and Salon. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA from Indiana University-Bloomington. He is the winner of the 2014 Cintas Fellowship in Literature and the 2015 Novel Prize from the Faulkner Society. He is a former Fulbright scholar in Spain and has translated Spanish poetry and drama. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, and worked for the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. He has lived and worked in Madrid and Budapest, and currently splits his time between New York and Berlin.

V.V. Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer and journalist, is the author of Love Marriage (Random House, 2008). The novel, which is set in Sri Lanka and some of its diaspora communities, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of Washington Post Book World’s Best of 2008, as well as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic MonthlyThe Washington PostColumbia Journalism ReviewThe San Francisco ChronicleHimal Southasian, and The American Prospect, among others. A former vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association, she has also served on the board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She is presently part of the graduate board of The Harvard Crimsonas well as a contributing editor for Copper Nickel. She is a founding member of Lanka Solidarity, and a member of the board of directors of The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies.

Vauhini Vara is an O. Henry Prize-winning fiction writer whose short stories have been published in McSweeney's, Tin House, and elsewhere; earlier this year, one of her stories was included in Subway Library, a project by the New York MTA and New York Public Library that let people read short stories on their phones, for free, while riding the train. She has received a grant from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and a guest of the Yaddo Corporation. She is also a journalist, with articles published in The Atlantic, Harper's, Wired, and the website of the New Yorker; previously she worked as an editor at the New Yorker and a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. She's living in Berlin for three months, with her husband and son, on the Burns Fellowship for journalism.

Location: KN: Raum für Kunst im Kontext
68 Skalitzer Str., 10997 Berlin
(2nd courtyard, behind Motto Books)

Doors @18:30
Readings @20:00
Free entry. Limited seating.

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7:00 PM19:00

Reading: Jenny Zhang with Saskia Vogel

The Berlin Writers' Workshop presents a reading by Jenny Zhang and Saskia Vogel.

We're pleased to welcome Jenny Zhang for the Berlin launch of Sour Heart (Penguin Random House, 2017), "a sly debut story collection that conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City—for readers of Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and Junot Díaz." Zhang will read with Berlin-based writer and translator Saskia Vogel.

About the authors:

Jenny Zhang was born in Shanghai and raised in Queens. She is the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, the non-fiction chapbook Hags, the e-book The Selected Jenny Zhang, and the forthcoming short-story collection Sour Heart. Her essay "How It Feels" was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2015. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Saskia Vogel is from Los Angeles and lives in Berlin, where she works as a writer and Swedish-to-English literary translator. She has written on the themes of gender, power, and sexuality for publications such as Granta, The Paris Review Daily, The White Review, Sight&Sound, The Offing, and The Quietus. Previously, she worked in London as Granta magazine’s global publicist and in Los Angeles as an editor at the AVN Media Network, where she reported on the business of pornography and adult pleasure products.

Advance praise for Sour Heart:

“As I read, I quickly realized that this was something so new and powerful that it would come to shape the world—not just the literary world, but what we know about reality. Zhang’s version of honesty goes way past the familiar, with passages that burst into bold, startling, brilliance. Get ready.”—Miranda July

The reading is in English. Free entry. Cash bar.

KN: Raum für Kunst im Kontext
Skalitzer Straße 68, zweites Hinterhaus, zweite Etage
Berlin, Germany 10997

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