A House Amid Literature

For more than fifty years the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB) has been deeply rooted in Berlin’s literary scene while at the same time reaching far beyond the city. The grand Wilhelmine house on the Wannsee is a place for experiment and a venue for a wide range of public events—book launches and open-air festivals, readings and comic vernissages, the Deutschlandfunk interview series ‘Studio LCB’, the ‘Playwrights’ Lab’ and the garden book fair ‘Small Publishers on the Wannsee’.

The LCB’s literary magazine, »Sprache im technischen Zeitalter« (‘Language in the Age of Technology’) has been produced in close connection with the house programme for many years. The workshop »Autorenwerkstatt Prosa« (‘writer’s workshop Prose’) is held annually. The Alfred Döblin Prize endowed by Günter Grass is awarded every two years (in cooperation with the Academy of the Arts), as is the Prize for Literary Criticism endowed by Jörg A. Henle.

The LCB is an international residency which offers guestrooms in combination with a wide range of fellowship programmes for writers and translators from Germany and abroad. It also goes out into the world, initiating regular travel projects and exchange programmes. (These originally focused on Central and Eastern Europe, but are now further-reaching). In collaboration with the Robert Bosch Foundation, the LCB runs the ‘Cross-Border Programme’ and helps to fund international research trips for writers, filmmakers and photographers who are working on topical social issues and trends.

Translation funding plays a particularly important role at the LCB. The Berlin Translators’ Workshop, the International Translators’ Conference and Translators’ Day all have a regular place in the LCB’s calendar, and the German Translators’ Fund has been around now for more than twenty years, offering fellowships and workshops, and—thanks to the TOLEDO programme—supporting translators in their contributions to cultural exchange.

Since 2006 the web portal »literaturport.de« has provided a digital port for more than a thousand writers, with new texts, a calendar of events, an overview of prizes and fellowships on offer, and networking possibilities for Berlin’s international literary scene. The audio platform »dichterlesen.net«—the LCB’s sound archive—was established in 2011 in cooperation with the German Literature Archive in Marbach and the Literature Houses in Basel and Stuttgart. Comprising recordings of events from the last decades and curated listening rooms covering a variety of topics, the archive creates a literary history of public readings.

The many different lines developed over the years by the Literary Colloquium Berlin are unthinkable without its many sponsors and partners. These include the Senate of Berlin, the Foreign Ministry, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Deutschlandfunk, Leipzig Book Fair, the Goethe Institut, ARTE and the Gorki Theatre. The LCB is active in the Berlin Literature Conference, the Network of Berlin’s Literary Houses and Members of the Free Literary Scene, and the network of German-speaking literary houses, »literaturhaus.net«.

Translation: Imogen Taylor

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