Heidelberg Literature Festival
Classic in the Spiegeltent
It is one of the top fifteen festivals in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region: the international literature festival Heidelberger Literaturtage. The festival has taken place every year since 1994, on five days in May/June in a historical Spiegeltent seating 300. To date, the Literaturtage have been attended by 54,000 visitors who were able to witness 325 authors, translators and musicians from 28 countries. There are a total of 15 to 20 events each year.
The program covers a wide range. Apart from classic readings by international and national authors, the program also includes writing workshops for children, panel discussions and concerts. Heidelberg's cultural institutions, translators' associations, bookshops and publishers can also present themselves at info booths.
The guests are invited from the most varied countries. The current poetics lecturer at the German Department at Heidelberg University is also guest at the Literaturtage. Furthermore, every two years there is also a Maghreb Day. In contrast to the ever-changing special focus countries chosen for the Literaturtage, the cultural, political and literary developments in north Africa have been followed over a long period of time.
The international literature festival is based on the co-operation between various literary impresarios and mediators in Heidelberg. It is run by a workforce consisting of the Büchergilde, Bücherstube at Tiefburg and Schmitt & Hahn bookshops, the German-American Institute, publishers Das Wunderhorn, the Maison de Montpellier, the Bureau de Cooperation Universitaire (Institut Francais), as well as the Junges Theater, the Heidelberg Public Library and the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The co-operation between the various parties in the working group means that a wide variety of talents and potential contacts are brought together and complement one another. Those responsible for drawing up the program have a fine feeling for writers at the outermost limits of their métier, for unmistakable voices, and for writers who deserve awards. In keeping with the decision to apply for the UNESCO City of Literature title, international co-operation plays a significant part in the organisation of the festival.