23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Kathrin Röggla
Kathrin Röggla [© Jessica Schäfer]

Kathrin Röggla

Kathrin Röggla was born in Salzburg in 1971. She has been appearing as an author since 1988. Her focus is on prose and texts for theater as well as radio.

Since her literary debut »Niemand lacht rückwärts« [1995; tr: Nobody Laughts Backwards], she has published several prose volumes that cross genres and often take a media- and ideological-critical look at the present. »really ground zero« [2001] is an excellent example of this. »In her idiosyncratic language, already tried and tested in earlier texts, a reflective mixture of colloquial, scenic, scientific, and literary modes of writing and speaking« [DLF], Kathrin Röggla, who was in New York on September 11, 2001, describes her own perception of the terrorist attacks, captures the reactions of the Americans, and also takes a look at the media coverage. For the novel »wir schlafen nicht« [2004; tr: We Don’t Sleep], she interviewed management consultants and other actors from the New Economy in order to weave their statements »into an impressive tapestry of indirect speech, new word combinations, and a state of consciousness that constantly shifts from self-deception to clairvoyance« [NZZ]. Both works were adapted for the stage by the author.

In general, Kathrin Röggla also takes up current topics and social debates in her plays and radio plays; for example, the starting point for »Der Lärmkrieg« [2013; tr: Noise War] was an event on the topic of aircraft noise, which the author had attended during her time as a writer for the city of Mainz. The play »Das Wasser« [tr: The Water], which premiered in 2022 at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden, is based on numerous conversations with environmental NGOs and activists. She recently published the poetics volume »Ausreden« [2022; tr: Excuses] and the essay »Bauernkriegspanorama« [2020; tr: Peasants’ War Panorama], which won the Crespo Foundation’s Wortmeldungen Prize. It takes the panorama painting by GDR artist Werner Tübke, completed in 1987, as a starting point to reflect on what a corresponding image of the present might look like. »The text is a venture if only because it attempts to depict the many conflicting developments as a totality. For all her gloom, the author does not refrain from outlining a utopian future«, said the jury of the Wortmeldungen Prize.

Kathrin Röggla has received numerous awards for her work, including the Solothurn Literature Prize, the Arthur Schnitzler Prize, the Austrian Art Prize for Literature, and the Else-Laker-Schüler Prize. She has been a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry since 2015 and became Vice President of the Berlin Academy of Arts that same year. In 2020, she was appointed Professor of Literary Writing at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. The author lives in Cologne.

Date: 2022


Niemand lacht rückwärts

Salzburg, 1995

really ground zero

S. Fischer
Frankfurt a. M., 2001

wir schlafen nicht

S. Fischer
Frankfurt a. M., 2004

die alarmbereiten

S. Fischer
Frankfurt a. M., 2010


S. Fischer
Frankfurt a. M., 2016


Verbrecher Verlag
Berlin, 2020