Literary Events: May 2011


As a response to last year’s Othello by Peter Sellars and part of the Wiener Festwochen 2011, the Viennese Akzent Theater brings Nobel Prize laureate in Literature Toni Morrison and musician Rokia Traoré together for an evening of intimate dialogue between Shakespeare’s Desdemona and her African Amah. Many centuries of colonialism, repression and racism later, the voices of these two women begin to take new shape and merge into what seems like an alternative future of hope and melody.

May 15, 17 – 21, 19:30
Akzent Theater
4., Theresianumgasse 16 – 18
(01) 501 65 330



Brigitte and Gerhard Hartmann are in possession of one of the largest collections of contemporary graphic books in the German-speaking world. A product of many years’ thorough work and careful selection, this corpus includes around 250 pairs of hand-written texts to go along with their visual counterparts, both of which are original content by modern day artists. Curator Jürgen Thaler brings this library from the FranzMichaelFelder Archive Vorarlberg to the Viennese public for the first time.

May 2 – 20, 9:00 – 17:00
Literaturhaus Wien
7., Zieglergasse 27a



Slam poets and several actors of the Burgtheater get together to celebrate the power of the spoken word.  Professional performers representing Goethe&Co. will stand face to face with Austria’s top amateur poets, fighting for the audience’s acclaim. It will be a battle between the timelessness of poetry past and the passion of poetry present. With slammers Yasmin Hafedh, Bas Böttcher, Elwood Loud, Gabriel Vetter and the Burgtheater esemble. Moderated by Poetry Slam Vice-World Champion, Sebastian 23.

May 21, 20:30
Casino am Schwarzenbergplatz
4., Schwarzenbergplatz 1
(01) 514 44 48 30



Philipp Blom lives and works as a historian, novelist, journalist and translator in Vienna. He will discuss his latest work, A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment (published in 2010 by Basic Books) with fellow writer Franz Schuh. The book analyses 18th century European salons of Enlightenment adepts, bringing pertinent comparisons between a wide range of philosophers, from Epicurus to Rousseau and Kant.

May 18, 19:00
Alte Schmiede – Literarisches Quartier
1., Schönlaterngasse 9
(01) 512 83 29



Author and foreign policy commentator William Pfaff ‘s tenth work on international politics is titled The Irony of Manifest Destiny (published in June 2010 by Walker and Company, New York) and describes the American nation’s leading role as an increasing effort to reconfigure the world. Pfaff’s books and collaborations with The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The International Herald Tribune have gained him worldwide acclaim as one of the most influential interpreters of world affairs. The event takes place in cooperation with the US Embassy with the help of curator Eva Nowotny.

May 16, 19:00
Bruno Kreisky Forum
19., Armbrustergasse 15
(01) 318 82 60



Rüdiger Hentzschel will stage Ernst Jandl’s lyrical acrobatics with the help of Max Hoffmann, Wolfgang Lesky, Babett Arens and Leopold Selinger. The Austrian poet will come to life again for one night by means of his wonderfully humorous body of works. A spawn of the Nazi resistance movement, Jandl provoked many controversies in his time and continues to do so to this day through his insightful depiction of political engagement.

May 3-7, 10-15, 17-21, 19:45
5., Wiedner Hauptstraße 108
(01) 544 20 70

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