You are here: Home / New international literature festival: »versfest berlin« from March 20th to 22nd 2017
10.ilb - 15.09 bis 26.10.10 - Focus Osteuropa
You are here: Home / New international literature festival: »versfest berlin« from March 20th to 22nd 2017

New international literature festival: »versfest berlin« from March 20th to 22nd 2017



From March 20th till 22nd 2017 a new international literature festival will take place in berlin. The versfest berlin (vfb), a festival for remarkable contemporary poetry, addresses first of all children and young adults and invites ten poets from ten countries and from four continents into the German capital. The program consist of 25 events, at which eight books will be premiered.

Carnegie Medal winner Sarah Crossan (Ireland/UK), Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom Carol Ann Duffy (UK), German Children’s Literature Award winner Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn (Germany),  NSW Premier´s Literary Award winner Steven Herrick (Australia), Swiss Youth Literature Prize winner Franz Hohler (Switzerland), Yu Long Poetry Prize winner Lan Lan (China), German Children’s Literature Award nominee Synne Lea (Norway), Premio Andersen winner Anushka Ravishankar (India), German Children’s Literature Award winner Edward van de Vendel (The Netherlands) and National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson (USA) will take part in the versfest berlin. Four of the writers will present their works in Germany for the first time. Another part of the festival is the performance of the musician, composer, and actor John Sampson (UK), who will accompany the presentation of Carol Ann Duffy’s poetical work with music. Poetry by James Krüss (Germany) will be at the center of the Retrospective of the festival.

The main venue of the versfest berlin is the Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus. Events will also take place at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, at the Ullstein Publishing House and at other locations in Berlin. The festival program consist of thirteen readings and twelve multi-day workshops, at which participants will work with the poetic texts of the festival guests by means of text, illustration, acting, and dance. Furthermore, the versfest berlin contains an opening speech about the status quo of poetry for young readers, the publishing of a poetry manifesto written by the festival guests, the presentation of poetry about the topic »Imagine« that was written by the authors exclusively for the festival, an exhibition of extraordinary poetry books curated by the festival guests, as well as a Masterclass Poetry. All versfest guests will be interviewed for the video project »Poetry Voices«, answering questions about their self-understanding as poets, literary issues and about why young people need poetry. These interviews will be available on YouTube after the festival.

The versfest berlin is an event hosted by the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik, which has been organizing the international literature festival berlin since 2001, the Worldwide Readings since 2006, the international literature festival odessa since 2015, as well as several single events. Ulrich Schreiber, who is the chairman and executive director of the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung and the executive director at the versfest berlin, says: »We are really grateful for the funding that the versfest is receiving from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. Poets, who are writing for young readers, have always been guests at our literature festivals in Berlin and Odessa – but we could only depict the spectrum of poetic work to some extent.« Christoph Rieger, program manager at the versfest berlin, says: »Worldwide, there is no event which adequately reflects the diversity and quality of international poetry for young readers and which presents an attractive stage for it. Many excellent poets who write for young readers are almost unknown and their poetic work scrape an economicly and literarily underrepresented, shadowy existence. With the versfest berlin we are trying to call attention to this blind spot of representation of poetry for young readers.«

The program of the versfest berlin is open to all interested parties independent of age, but addresses especially children and young adults of all grades. The admission to all events is free. The complete program will be published on Monday, the 16th of January 2017 on our website. From that date on, events can be booked on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. via email at or by phone on 0049-(0)30-278786-66/-70. The printed program will be available on Wednesday, the 1st of February 2017. More information about the versfest berlin: website / Facebook / Twitter.

The versfest berlin is an event organized by the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik. It is funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. Other sponsors are: James Krüss Community of Heirs, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Berlin, Royal Embassy of Norway in Berlin. The Hotel Savoy Berlin is the festival hotel. Einar & Bert is the festival bookstore. Eselsohr is the media partner of the festival.