Monday, 23 January 2012

Welcome to the Temporary Literaturhaus

In October 2012 New Zealand will be the Guest of Honour at the world’s biggest literary event, the Frankfurt Book Fair. To celebrate this, translator Sally-Ann Spencer has brought together a group of literary organisations to bring a taste of Europe to Wellington by creating New Zealand’s first, albeit temporary, Literaturhaus.

The Literaturhaus concept was first developed in Berlin in the late 1980s and has since been adopted in numerous cities in Germany and beyond. Literaturhäuser are at the heart of literary life in Germany, providing a venue for innovative literary events and education and a meeting place for all those interested in books. Their central mission is to communicate and promote interest in literature in all its forms among diverse readerships. The concept has since been introduced in Scandinavia with great success.

The Temporary Literaturhaus in Wellington will provide a mobile platform for literary events that bring together different communities of readers and writers. The launch events are organized in collaboration with the New Zealand Book Council, the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation and Wellington City Libraries, the Temporary Literaturhaus will reappear on a monthly basis at different venues in Wellington and connect with other literary institutions and initiatives in the city (supported by a grant from CNZ).

In the tradition of the German Literaturhäuser, the Temporary Literaturhaus will focus on innovative programming, moving away from conventional readings to focus on “live” literature and providing a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere for people to engage in the wider conversation about literature, translation and books.

Sponsored by: Creative New Zealand
Supported by:  Goethe Institut, New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, Meow Bar & Cafe, Wellington City Libraries, New Zealand Book Council

For more information, email The launch week runs from 7 - 11 February.

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