Poetics of Nonbelonging

Authors from Southeast Europe

21-24 March 2024 | Leipzig Book Fair

#lbm24 #traduki #poeticsofnonbelonging

The Leipzig Book Fair 2024 takes place from 21-24 March.

TRADUKI has prepared fascinating talks with authors and experts in Leipzig: on different stages at the book fair and at the UT Connewitz. Our famous Balkan Film Week will take place as usual in the weeks leading up to the book fair.


Thursday, 21 March

  • TRADUKI Welcome
    We celebrate Southeast European literature in Leipzig
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Antje Contius, Angelika Salvisberg and other participants

    TRADUKI invites you to the opening of its stand and the presentation of the 2024 literary programme. Save the date!

  • Mud
    What happened on 6 November 1946 in Kiseljak?
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Nataša Nelević
    Moderator: Annemarie Türk

    6 November 1946: a day that brought progress to a backward Yugoslavia with the completion of a major infrastructure project? At least that’s what the well-known Yugoslav author Miroslav Krleža wrote in his diary. Was there anything else? The narrator considers the possibility that her mother might have met the writer that day. Faced with this possibility, she questions the notions of femininity, observes the development of the socialist era and insists on confidently juxtaposing a marginalised ‘female’ text with that of the well-known writer.

    Co-organiser: Ministry for Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Montenegro

  • Life: Long May It Live!
    No Sickness but Humour
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Edo Popović
    Moderator: Annemarie Türk

    The body may have cancer, but Edo Popović is alive. And enjoys it! He may have retired from Zagreb to the countryside, but he is alive. Still. Every now and then memories come up, for example of his mother, who went to West Germany as a guest worker when he was still a little boy. But Popović still celebrates all facets of life, and we celebrate with him!

  • Tutto „Bella ciao“?
    Italian Fascism and the Slovenian Minority in Italy - Then and Now
    Café Europa (Hall 4, E401/E403)

    With: Jernej Šček, Kaja Širok, Federico Tenca Montini
    Moderator: Barbara Anderlič

    Bella Italia! Sun, Capri, cappuccino. Just a few years after the end of the Second World War, Italy had almost completely shed its fascist past. Who had time to ponder the past when a sun-kissed Audrey Hepburn was whizzing through the streets of Rome on a Vespa and enchanting the world? Who cared what happened in Gonars, Rab and San Sabba during the interwar period and later during the war? The Slovenes remembered: the Slovenian minority in Italy. How did it fare and how is it doing in Meloni’s Italy?

  • Dried Out
    Janko Polić Kamov newly discovered
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Brigitte Döbert, Sebastian Guggolz, Miranda Jakiša
    Moderator: Jörg Plath

    Published posthumously, Janko Polić Kamov (1886-1910) describes in “Austrocknen” (tr: Brigitte Döbert, Guggolz) the highs and lows of a young man who sets out to find his place in the world, only to realise that the world has not been waiting for him. Kamov’s barely veiled autobiography retells moments of intoxication, sexual awakening, political and artistic self-discovery and the protagonist’s rebellion against his oppressive petty-bourgeois background. But there is something in his throat, an ulcer, that wants to put an abrupt end to his life.

  • Never forget - Holocaust, Memory, Literature
    Traces from the past that lead from the family album to literature
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Dušan Šarotar, Saša Šavel Burkart
    Moderator: Erwin Köstler

    The Slovenian writer Dušan Šarotar (his book Panorama has just been published in German translation by Metka Wakounig by Schenk Verlag) and the director of the Slovenian cultural and information centre SKICA Berlin, Saša Šavel Burkart, both come from the Prekmurje region and have personal stories to tell about their ancestors.

    On April 26 of this year, it will be 80 years since the deportation of about 400 Jews from this region, which was under Hungarian administration until April 1944. Only about 20 of them returned. The rest are mere memories, with which the second generation of descendants grapples in their novels so that everything that those who returned wanted to forget is not lost forever. In 2007, Šarotar published the novel “Biljard v Dobrayu,” in which the story of the catastrophe of the Prekmurje Jews was written down as a work of fiction for the first time. As there are fewer and fewer direct witnesses of the Holocaust, the era of storytellers who preserve history is coming.

    Organiser: Slovenian Book Agency

  • Albanian Poetry
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Rita Petro
    Moderator: Loreta Schillock

    A conversation with poet Rita Petro.

    Organiser: National Centre for Books and Reading (QKLL)

Friday, 22 March

  • On Roses and Beauty
    Hungarian Voices from Serbia
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Zoltán Danyi, László Végel
    Moderator: Eric Marr

    The late Serbian writer Aleksandar Tišma (1924-2003) was one of the most important chroniclers of Vojvodina, the region of Serbia where Hungarian is also spoken. In Leipzig, we are now presenting two key contemporary voices of Serbia’s Hungarian minority: Zoltán Danyi with his book “Rosenroman” (tr: Terézia Mora, Suhrkamp) and László Végel with the novel “Balkanschönheit oder Schlemihls Bastard” (tr: Christina Kunze, Wieser). The protagonists of both novels interpret and analyse in their own way the past and present of the region and their own existence, which has been ravaged by war and disease. And despite everything, sometimes a ray of dazzling beauty unexpectedly flashes through it all.

  • "Stundenholz" and the Glass Garden
    The Past in the Present
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Alexandru Bulucz, Tatiana Țîbuleac
    Moderator: Jörg Plath

    A novel. A book of poetry. What connects them? The power of language. The search for answers in the past. The contrast between collective memory and personal recollection. In her novel “The Glass Garden” (tr: Ernest Wichner, Schöffling & Co.), Tatiana Țîbuleac describes the upheavals that shook Moldova in the 1980s and 1990s in a unique way. Alexandru Bulucz’s third volume of poetry “Stundenholz” (Schöffling & Co.) also looks back to the 1990s in order to situate himself in the here and now.

    Co-organiser: Ministry of Culture of Romania

  • The Missed Moment
    An Instant with Bulgarian Poetry
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Yordanka Beleva
    Moderator: Annemarie Türk

    The award-winning Bulgarian author and poet Yordanka Beleva presents her poetry collection “Der verpasste Moment” (tr: Henrike Schmidt & Silviya Vasileva, eta), in which she skillfully captures the quiet moments of loss or emptiness. She describes the gaps in life that can never be closed again. Without pathos, often with humour, and where appropriate, with a pinch of hope. The author takes us on a long journey; we meet her in Italian hotel rooms, in the Wild West or at her grandparents’ house.

    Co-organiser: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria

  • Tirana
    A Short Albanian Dream
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Stefan Çapaliku
    Moderator: Shqipe Sylejmani

    Rome, Salzburg, Tirana. In his latest novel “Tirana. A Brief Dream” (tr: Zuzana Finger, Transit), Albanian author Stefan Çapaliku explores three love stories that take place against the backdrop of the Second World War. He masterfully interweaves the different narrative strands and takes us through Albanian in the 1940s: the occupation by fascist Italy and then, from 1943 onwards, by Nazi Germany. The partisans fight both and take power after the Germans retreat, a power that soon turns into a dictatorship. Love falls by the wayside. What remains is a brief dream.

    Co-organiser: Goethe-Zentrum Tirana

  • Feminism in Southeast Europe
    Three Voices Discuss
    Café Europa (Hall 4, E401/E403)

    With: Irena Cvetkovic, Antonela Marušić, Lea Vajsova
    Moderator: Vedran Džihić

    When people think of the Balkans, they often associate it with patriarchal structures rather than a pronounced feminist discourse. Rightly so? What has remained of the equal rights from the times of socialism and communism? What was ever true about it? What was fiction? And how does the local feminism movements relate to LGBTQIA+? Three committed voices from Southeast Europe analyse and discuss the situation.

    The event will be held in English

  • Cities, the Countryside and Grandma
    Nature and the Past
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Nataša Kramberger, Liza Linde
    Moderator: Kristine Listau

    How do we deal with nature and our world? This is the subject of Nataša Kramberger’s essay novel “Mauerpfeffer” (tr: Liza Linde, Verbrecher). The text by the Slovenian author, who is also a farmer, is a plea in favour of organic farming and a careful approach to working with the environment. Again and again we hear her grandmother, who emphasises the importance of living in harmony with nature, sharing her old wisdom.


  • The World and All That It Holds
    Protectors and Lovers
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Aleksandar Hemon
    Moderator: Amir Kamber

    When Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrives in Sarajevo on a June day in 1914, Rafael Pinto is busy chopping herbs behind the counter of the pharmacy he inherited from his father. It’s not quite the life he had imagined during his student days in libertarian Vienna, but it’s nothing that a shot of laudanum, a walk and daydreaming couldn’t turn into bliss. And then the world explodes.

  • Beyond Borders
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Rita Petro, Beqë Cufaj, Mimoza Hysa, Mladen Vesković
    Moderator: Alda Bardhyli

    Albanian literature in Kosovo, North Macedonia and the diaspora, written by authors who do not live and work in Albania, is part of the conglomerate “Albanian literature”, but it is characterised by specific features, from themes to styles, which are as individual as they are collective. What similarities can be found in the works of Albanian authors in Albania and those in Kosovo, North Macedonia and the diaspora? What does the future of cross-border literature look like? How well known is Albanian literature from outside Albania to Albanian readers etc.?

    Authors are artists who explore human nature, foreign cultures, ways of thinking and beliefs, and therefore they often come into contact with other literatures that influence and inspire them. This contact is important in order to understand what distinguishes and unites authors from southeast, central and northern Europe. What influence does Balkan history, marked by clashes between neighbours, have on the overcoming of literary borders? How can a writer from Southeast Europe transform the historical burden and challenges of his origins into a unique, distinctive quality that makes him a literary voice and adds a very personal nuance to the literary mosaic, uniting the richness of different cultures in Europe?

    Organiser: National Centre for Books and Reading (QKLL)

Saturday, 23 March

  • Over the Pontoon Bridge. To the Dowry!
    Queer (her)stories from Slovenia and Croatia
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Antonela Marušić, Suzana Tratnik
    Moderator: Barbara Anderlič

    Two strongly auto-fictional novels that return to the past to speak of LGBTQIA+ stories from Slovenia and Croatia. In her novel “The Pontoon Bridge” (tr: Zuzana Finger, Konkursbuch), Suzana Tratnik outlines life in the Slovenian underground scene of the 1990s. Upheaval and change permeate every pore of the personalities who flit from one party to another in Ljubljana’s burgeoning queer scene. But at the same time, and again and again, they protest and fight for equal rights. Things are more relaxed on the Dalmatian island of Korčula in Antonela Marušić’s novel “Mitgift” (tr: Marie Alpermann, Edition Converso). But under the burning sun, the leisurely, traditional surroundings seem rigid and constricting. Especially for the adolescent girl Nela, who feels that she cannot be what she wants to be. A small revolution is brewing on the shimmering Adriatic.

    Co-organiser: Forum slawischer Kulturen (FSK.si)

  • Flea Market of Memories
    Forgotten Books - Forgotten Stories
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Marie Alpermann, Bojan Savić Ostojić
    Moderator: Maja Gebhardt

    In his novel “Nothing Belongs to Nobody” (tr: Mascha Dabić, eta), Bojan Savić Ostojić takes us on a journey through world literature. At his side, we explore Belgrade’s flea markets and rummage through dusty piles of books. But how long is a book worth anything? Especially if the stories in it have nothing to do with the present day or current political events? And do we have to bargain for our past so that it doesn’t disappear completely? Translator Marie Alpermann has rediscovered a Yugoslavian cult classic author for the German-speaking public: Biljana Jovanović. Together with Tijana Matijević, she has translated Jovanović’s novel “Dogs and Others” (eta) into German. So: Seek and ye shall find at the flea market of world literature!

  • Sworn Virgins
    From Woman to Man
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Rene Karabash
    Moderator: Florian Valerius

    In the novel “Остайница” [Sworn Virgins], the award-winning Bulgarian author Rene Karabash talks about Albanian women who live as men. The novel gives us an insight into a variant of Albanian customary law that has been preserved in remote areas of the Balkans. In it, women become sworn virgins, living as men. Blood feuds between families are common, love is worth as much as death, and a woman as much as twenty oxen. Rene Karabash is one of the most translated Bulgarian authors. She moves between the arts and is an award-winning theatre and film actress.

    The event will be held in English

    Co-Organiser: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria

  • The General's Daughters
    The Sisters' Dark Legacy
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Mimoza Hysa
    Moderator: Shqipe Sylejmani

    The story revolves around the life of two twins, Marsina and Martina, daughters of an officer. The historical period, which forms the background to the events, is the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. Two girls, two sisters, who live the historical period within the walls protected by the father figure and by all those privileges granted by the regime to those who, among the senior officers, do not deny their support.

  • Poetry of Nonbelonging
    Lyrical Impressions from North Macedonia
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Ivana Jovanovska, Nikola Madjirov
    Moderation: Eric Marr

    The award-winning North Macedonian poet Nikola Madjirov introduces us to a young North Macedonian poet: Ivana Jovanovska, whose work is among the most exciting that the contemporary North Macedonian literary scene has to offer. Madjirov will be presenting his own text “Blut und Poesie der Unzugehörigkeit” (tr: Alexander Sitzmann), which was recently published in “Sinn und Form”.

  • The Wickedness of Thieves
    Tito, Helmut Kohl and the Queen of England
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Alem Grabovac
    Moderator: Maja Gebhardt

    Smilja comes to Germany as a Yugoslavian guest worker. Her life is characterised by piecework in the factory and the violent outbursts of her partner Dušan. When Dušan dies, Smilja’s world once again comes apart at the seams. Night after night, she hears him knocking in the wardrobe and seeks redemption from a miracle healer. Together with her son Alem, whom she placed in a German foster family as a child, she struggles with questions of origin and homeland, guilt and forgiveness.

    Co-organiser: hanserblau

  • The Experience of Widowhood
    A memoir on sudden death and female self-determination
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Erica Johnson Debeljak
    Moderator: Tilman Spreckelsen

    When her husband Aleš, a famous and popular writer and intellectual, is killed in a car accident, Erica J. Debeljak’s life is no longer the same. In her memoir she explores and examines what it means to be a widow. Now and in the past.

    Organiser: Slovenian Book Agency

  • Human/Nature/AI:
    In What World Do We Want to Live in 2040?
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    With: Andrea Grill, Radmila Petrović, Michael Stavarič, Johanna Rohland-Lindner
    Moderator: Manfred Müller

    Against the backdrop of the climate and biodiversity crisis and the rapid pace of technological developments, Austrian authors have been invited together with authors from all over the world to engage in dialogue projects on the question of what kind of world we want to live in by 2040. The Austrian Foreign Ministry’s international literature call for essays and literary prose will be presented in a discussion with Johanna Rohland-Lindner, Manfred Müller, and the award-winning authors Andrea Grill, Radmila Petrović and Michael Stavarič.

    Co-organiser: Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Austrian Society for Literature, Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin

  • Balkannacht
    Literature and Music at the UT Connewitz
    UT Connewitz

    With: Alexandru Bulucz, Rene Karabash, Nataša Kramberger, Barbi Marković, Bojan Savić Ostojić
    Moderators: Amir Kamber und Vivian Perkovic
    Music: Sara Renar

    What would the TRADUKI programme be without our infamous Balkan Night? This year we have something for everyone: You want pure nature? We have the author and farmer Nataša Kramberger on stage with her novel essay “Mauerpfeffer” (tr: Liza Linde, Verbrecher). If you don’t care much for flora, you can stroll through the flea markets of Belgrade with Bojan Savić Ostojić in “Nichts gehört niemandem” (t: Mascha Dabić, eta) and discover new (old) literature. Alongside Rene Karabash, we uncover the stories of Albanian sworn virgins: Women who live as men. And in Barbi Marković’s “Minihorror” (Residenz), we follow Mini and Miki, who are broken by their normal existence, even though they actually do everything right. Or do they? Alexandru Bulucz, who will present his poetry collection “Stundenholz” (Schöffling & Co.), is poetic and not at all wooden, which is good: There will also be music too! Croatian musician Sara Renar will be delighting us this year. See you at the UT Connewitz!

    Co-organiser: Ministry of Culture of Romania, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, Residenz Verlag

Sunday, 24 March

  • There is always something to discover!
    TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4, D403)

    Even on Sunday, when there will be no events on our stage, we cordially invite the Leipzig public to stop by our stand. There is always something to discover!

Poetics of Nonbelonging

Poetics of Nonbelonging

For this year’s title of the TRADUKI programme at the Leipzig Book Fair 2024, we were inspired by the North Macedonian poet Nikola Madjirov. His poetic-philosophical essay (tr. Alexander Sitzmann, published in Sinn und Form) deals with “nonbelonging”, a feeling that often extends far beyond writing and into ‘real’ life. “Nonbelonging” is not something specific to Southeast European authors either; rather, the vast majority of people have a similar experience: it can be painful when you keep your distance from your “own” – whoever they may be and whatever that may exactly mean – or when a distance creeps into a relationship or a closeness never existed in the first place.


Marie Alpermann

Marie Alpermann, born in Leipzig in 1988, studied Slavic studies and literature in Halle (Saale). She spent semesters abroad in Sarajevo and Novi Sad and lived for a year each in Kyiv and Ljubljana. Since 2019, she has worked full-time as a literary translator from Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. She has translated works by Lejla Kalamujić, Dragoslava Barzut, Senka Marić, Jelena Lengold, Jasminka Petrović and Biljana Jovanović into German, among others. For her work, she received grants from the German Translator’s Fund, the Saxony-Anhalt Art Foundation and a Perewest scholarship from the Freundeskreis Literaturübersetzer. Alpermann participated in several thematic and international workshops. In 2023, she spent six weeks in Belgrade with the support of TRADUKI. She is a member of the Association of German-Speaking Translators and lives in Halle (Saale).

Barbara K. Anderlič

Barbara Anderlič, born in Ljubljana in 1984, has a degree in translation studies. In 2014, she received the exil-DramatikerInnenpreis of the Wiener Wortstaetten for her play Von Schablonen und Romanfiguren. In 2015, she won the ITI Global Playwriting Contest with A Continental Divide. Her translation of Samira Kentrić’s Balkanalien: Erwachsenwerden in Zeiten des Umbruchs was published by Jacoby & Stuart in 2021, followed by Jurij Devetak’s graphic novel Nekropolis (Schaltzeit Verlag), based on Boris Pahor’s novel of the same name, in 2023. As an interpreter, Anderlič has had the privilege of lending her voice to Graciela Iturbide and Mojca Kumerdej, among others. In 2012, she was a member of the Standard audience jury at the Viennale film festival in Austria.

Yordanka Beleva

Yordanka Beleva was born in Tervel (Bulgaria) in 1977. She studied Bulgarian philology and librarianship and holds a doctorate in comparative librarianship. Her work includes poetry and short stories as well as a children’s book. Yordanka Beleva’s texts have been translated into English, German, Croatian and Arabic. She has received several awards for her prose and poetry.

Alexandru Bulucz

Renate von Mangoldt

Alexandru Bulucz, was born in 1987 in Alba Iulia, Romania, where he spent the first 13 years of his life. He studied German and comparative literature in Frankfurt am Main. He is a poet, editor, translator and critic. His poetry debut Aus sein auf uns was published in 2016 and he was awarded the Wolfgang Weyrauch Prize in 2019 for poems from was Petersilie über die Seele weiß. In 2022, he was awarded the Deutschlandfunk Prize at the Days of German-Language Literature in Klagenfurt. He lives in Berlin.

Stefan Çapaliku

Sara Çapaliku

Born in 1965 in Shkodra, northern Albania. He lives as a professor of aesthetics in Tirana and works as a theatre and film director. His internationally acclaimed work includes poems, essays, monographs, prose and plays. Translations in German: his novels Tirana. Ein kurzer Traum and Jeder wird verrückt auf seine Art (tr: Zuzana Finger).

Antje Contius

Ekko von Schwichow

Antje Contius, born in 1966 in North Hesse, is Director of the S. Fischer Foundation since 2008. She studied Slavic studies in Münster, Freiburg, Frankfurt/Main, Moscow, Warsaw and Sofia. As a freelance editor, she worked for publishing houses in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and was particularly committed to Eastern European literature. She also pursued this focus as a consultant for Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the foreign department of the Leipzig Trade Fair and as head of this department from 1995-1998. She joined the S. Fischer Foundation in 2002.

Irena Cvetkovic

Irena Cvetkovic (1982) holds a PhD in Gender Studies.  She is a researcher and activist in the field of social justice and gender equality. Her public engagements started with her blog- Femgerila and she is a  regular columnist at Prizma and author and host of the podcast Radio Mileva. At the moment she is executive director of the Coalition Margins and visiting professor (docent) at the Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities in Skopje.

Zoltán Danyi

Copyright: Suhrkamp

Zoltán Danyi, born in 1972 in Senta, Yugoslavia, studied philosophy and literature in Novi Sad and Szeged. He made his debut as a poet in 2003 and has published poems and short stories. He completed his doctorate on Béla Hamvas in 2008 and was an editor and university lecturer. He was awarded the Miklós Mészöly Prize for his first novel, translated into German under the title Der Kadaverräumer. Danyi, a member of the Hungarian minority in Serbia, lives as a rose grower in Senta.

Brigitte Döbert

Ariel Gout

Brigitte Döbert, born in Offenbach am Main in 1959, has been living and working in Berlin since 2010, having worked in Mainz, Zagreb, Belgrade, Wuppertal and Cologne. Her livelihood and one of her passions is translating literature, including works by Bora Ćosić and Miljenko Jergović. She has received several awards for her work, including the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and the Straelen Translation Prize from the Kunststiftung NRW.

Vedran Džihić


Vedran Džihić is Senior Researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (oiip) and teaches at Vienna University and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He is the director of the Center of Advanced Studies Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka and is a member of the “Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group”. Džihić is the author of numerous books and publications and is active in the realms of policy advisory and public debates. His research focuses on democracy development, nationalism, authoritarianism, EU enlargement and foreign policy, developments in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, protest movements, migration and democracy.

Maja Gebhardt

Maja Gebhardt was born in Sarajevo in 1981 and came to Germany as a refugee in 1992 because of the war in her home country. In 2005, she completed her German and English studies at the LMU Munich with a Magister Artium. Afterwards, she taught German as a foreign language in integration courses and worked as an examiner in the language centre of the association “Hilfe von Mensch zu Mensch”, but also in the Balkan Days team, which she still supports today by moderating the culture programme and organising its literature day. Since 2018, she has been living in Berlin, where she now organises book presentations for the eta Verlag and author talks for the BKS book club, where she also enjoys interpreting and translating from the BKMS languages into German.

Alem Grabovac

Paula Winkler

Alem Grabovac was born in Würzburg in 1974 to a Croatian mother and a Bosnian father. He studied sociology, political science and psychology in Munich, London and Berlin and lives with his family in Berlin. He writes as a freelance author for Die Zeit, Welt, taz and other publications. His highly acclaimed debut novel Das achte Kind was published by hanserblau in 2021.

Andrea Grill

Andrea Grill was born in Bad Ischl and studied in Salzburg, among other places. She did her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on the evolution of endemic butterflies in Sardinia. Grill writes poetry, stories and novels and translates from Albanian and Dutch. Her translations include the novel Milchkuss by Mimoza Ahmeti, the poetry collection Kinder der Natur by Luljeta Lleshanaku and Der Schlaf des Oktopus by Ervina Halili. As an author, her work include Das Paradies des Doktor Caspari (2015), Cherubino (2019) and most recently Bio-Diversi-Was? Reise in die fantastische Welt der Artenvielfalt and Seepferdchen, both published in 2023.

Sebastian Guggolz

Nils Stelte

Sebastian Guggolz, born in 1982 on Lake Constance, studied art history, German studies and folklore in Hamburg. After several years as an editor at Matthes & Seitz Berlin, he founded Guggolz Verlag in 2014, where he publishes new and rediscovered translations of forgotten classics from Northern and Eastern Europe. In 2016 he was honoured with the Übersetzerbarke, in 2017 he received the Kurt Wolff Förderpreis and in 2019 and 2020 Guggolz Verlag was awarded the Deutscher Verlagspreis. In 2022, he received the top prize of the German Publishing Award and the Hotlist Prize. Since 2022, he has also been team leader for classics in the editorial department of S. Fischer Verlag.

Aleksandar Hemon

Velibor Bozović

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. Meine Eltern / Alles nicht dein Eigen was published in German translation in 2021. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. 

Mimoza Hysa

Mimoza Hysa is an Albanian translator, writer and researcher. She graduated from the University of Tirana in Italian language and literature as well as in Italian Culture in Siena, Italy. She holds a PhD in literary sciences. As a literary translator she has translated over 30 literary works into Albanian, including books by Antonio Tabucchi, Giacomo Leopardi, Margaret Mazzatini and Claudio Magris. As a writer she has published four books, including “Bijat e gjeneralit” in 2019, a finalist for the “Kadare” and “Kult” prize and translated into Italian, Greek, German and Romanian. As a researcher she published the first monographic study on the creativity of Isuf Luzajt. For her work she has received several accolades. In the past four years Hysa has been directing book policies at the Ministry of the Culture and is director of the Publishing Centre for the Diaspora.

Miranda Jakiša

Miranda Jakiša is Professor of South Slavic Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research focusses on Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian literature and culture from the 18th to the 21st century. In addition to literature, she deals with post-dramatic theatre, (post-)Yugoslavian film and aesthetic strategies of dissent. Most recently, she has been researching the connection between literature and cultural identity as well as post-migrant literature. In 2022, she published “South Slavic Vienna. On the Visibility and Presence of South Slavic Languages and Cultures in Contemporary Vienna”.

Ivana Jovanovska

Ivana Jovanovska was born in Skopje, North Macedonia, in 1998. She is currently studying General and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philology “Blazhe Koneski”. She has taken part in numerous poetry readings and her poems have been published in the Greek literary magazine “Teflon” and the literary magazine “Sovremenost”, among others. To date, she has published two volumes of poetry. На ракавот на градот [On the Sleeve of the City] in 2021, followed by Номадски затвори [Prison of the Nomads] in 2023.

Amir Kamber

Amir Kamber, born in 1977 in Sanski Most, grew up in Prijedor, from where he had to flee in 1992. He lives in Sarajevo and Germany, works for Westdeutscher Rundfunk and writes in Bosnian and German.

Rene Karabash

Georgi Kazakov

Rene Karabash, born in 1989 in Lovech, Bulgaria, whose real name is Irena Ivanova, is an author, theatre director and actress. Her published works include a volume of poetry and her debut novel, published in 2018, for which she was awarded the Bulgarian Elias Canetti Prize. She has received awards at numerous film festivals, including Locarno and Sarajevo, for her role in the film Bezbog (2016). As a theatre director, she has directed plays based on Blue Eyes, Black Hair by Marguerite Duras and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde among others. She is the founder of the Rabbit Hole, an academy for writers from the worlds of literature, film and theatre.

Nataša Kramberger

Daniele Croci

Nataša Kramberger, born 1983, is a writer, columnist, and organic farmer. She writes essays, reportages and commentaries for newspapers and magazines. For her debut novel Nebesa v robidah (2007) she received the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) in 2010. In 2011, she published Kaki vojaki (with Jana Kocjan), in 2014 an essay collection titled Brez zidu, and in 2016 Tujčice. Verfluchte Misteln (2021) was published in Slovene under the title Primerljivi hektarji in 2018. In summer she lives in Jurovski Dol, Slovenia, and runs a small biodynamic farm with the eco-art collective Zelena Centrala. In winter she lives in Berlin.

Liza Linde

Liza Linde was born in 1989 in Reutlingen. She lives and works as a translator for German, Slovene and English in Ljubljana. Liza Linde translates prose, poetry and a variety of other texts in the fields of culture and politics. Her numerous literary translations include works by Goran Vojnović, Nicolas Mahler, Anja Golob, Nataša Kramberger, Peter Svetina, David Krančan & Žiga X Gombač, Jela Krečič, Tadej Golob, Glorjana Veber, Bronja Žakelj and Eva Mahkovic.


Kristine Listau

Nane Diehl

Kristine Listau, born in 1977 in the Soviet Union, grew up in the Rhineland and studied religious studies, politics and Slavic studies in Frankfurt am Main. She now lives in Berlin, where she runs Verbrecher Verlag together with Jörg Sundermeier.

Nikola Madjirov

Dirk Skiba

Nikola Madjirov, born in Strumica in 1973, is one of North Macedonia’s most renowned poets. He publishes poems, essays and literary translations and is one of the coordinators of the international network Lyrikline. His works have been translated into forty languages. Compositions based on his poems have been written by the Italian composer Angelo Inglese and the American jazz musician Oliver Lake. Nikola Madjirov was awarded the Hubert Burda Prize for his poetry collection Преместен камен (Versetzter Stein; Hanser, 2007). Numerous other international prizes and scholarships emphasise the importance of his work.

Barbi Marković

Apollonia Theresa Bitzan

Barbi Marković, born 1980 in Belgrade, studied German and has lived in Vienna since 2006. In 2011/2012 she was a writer-in-residence in Graz. In 2009, Marković caused a sensation with the Thomas Bernhard remix novel Ausgehen. In 2016, the novel Superheldinnen was published, for which she received the Alpha Literary Award, the Adelbert von Chamisso Award and the Priessnitz Prize in 2019. In 2017, Barbi Marković read at the Bachmann Prize, in 2018 Superheldinnen was staged at the Volkstheater Wien. She also authored numerous short stories, plays and radio plays. Most recently Minihorror (2023) was published by Residenz Verlag.

Eric Marr


Eric Marr is a freelance presenter and journalist. Born in Leipzig and a law graduate, he has worked for ZDF for more than 20 years, including as a presenter and reporter. You can find more information at: www.ericmarr.net


Antonela Marušić

Antonela Marušić (AKA Nora Verde), born 1974 in Dubrovnik, studied Croatian Language and Literature. While still a student, she published her first collection of poetry, Sezona bjegova (1994). She is the author of several novels, including Posudi mi smajl (2010) and Do isteka zaliha (2013). Her writing has been translated in many languages, including English, German, Slovene, Albanian and Macedonian. Nora Verde is a co-founder and editor of the feminist portal Vox Feminae.

Manfred Müller

Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur

Manfred Müller, born in Zell am See in 1969, studied German language and literature and art history in Vienna. He is the director of the Austrian Society for Literature (since 2014) and the Austrian Franz Kafka Society (since 2012) and a lecturer at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Vienna. Editor of several anthologies, mainly publications on 20th and 21st century literature. Most recently: Kafka träumt (Jung and Jung, 2024)

Nataša Nelević

Duško Miljanić

Nataša Nelević (1961) is a theatre critic, feminist theorist, writer and screenwriter. She is the author and editor of several books on theatre studies and women’s studies. Her publications include theatre plays, children’s books and novels. In 2003 she received the Sterija Prize for Theatre Criticism and in 2010 the Montenegrin National Theatre Prize for best contemporary play.

Vivian Perkovic

Robertino Nikolic

Vivian Perkovic, born 1978 in Winterberg, is a German journalist and television presenter. She studied German language and literature with a focus on media and theatre and South Slavic studies at the University of Hamburg. She currently works for 3sat Kulturzeit.

Radmila Petrović

Marija Strajnic / Elle

Radmila Petrović, born in 1996 in Užice/Serbia, is a poet and one of the most sought-after young voices from the former Yugoslavia. For her art she draws on her childhood memories spent in a village For urban audiences she opens up new perspectives on the human relationship to nature. Her themes also include family, village life, childhood traumas and female perspectives on the wars waged mostly by men.

Jörg Plath


Jörg Plath, born in 1960, is literary editor of “Deutschlandfunk Kultur” and writes for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” and the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”. He has been an editor, ghostwriter, and jury member (German Book Prize, International Literature Prize). He is currently on the jury of Weltempfänger.

Edo Popović

Robert Fajt

Edo Popović, born in 1957, lives in Zagreb. He co-founded one of the most influential underground literary magazines in the former Yugoslavia, and his first novel “Ponoćni boogie” (“Midnight Boogie” 1987) became a cult classic of his generation. From 1991-1995, Edo Popović was one of Croatia’s best-known war correspondents, after which he published several novels and short story collections. Edo Popović is considered Croatia’s voice of social transformation after the fall of communism.

Sara Renar

Valerio Baranović

Sara Renar is a recording and performing artist from Zagreb, Croatia and praised as one of the best and bravest Balkan singer–songwriters from the new generation. Her music style can be described as experimental/indie/pop, mixing subtle melodies with electronic and theatrical elements. A former architect with a Master’s degree, she has left her office job to pursue a full time career in music. Performing mostly in her Croatian mother tongue, she has won multiple regional awards for her music and live performances, including a nomination for the IMPALA European indie album of the year.

Johanna Rohland-Lindner

© ÖKF Berlin

Johanna Rohland-Lindner is Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin, which is part of the network of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria. She previously worked as an Austrian diplomat in New York and Jordan.

Bojan Savić Ostojić

Copyright: Steven Wyss

Bojan Savić Ostojić, born in 1983, lives in Belgrade as an author and literary translator from French. “Nichts gehört niemandem” is his second novel. He has published several volumes of poetry and prose, autobiographical essays and a short novel, as well as the short story collection “Punkt”, which is also available in German.

Jernej Šček

Jože Suhadolnik/DELO

Jernej Šček (1988) is part of the Slovenian minority in Trieste and is a philosopher, professor, journalist, essayist and translator. Šček teaches philosophy and history at the Trieste Lyceum, where he is also a contract lecturer in the humanities. He is also currently completing a doctorate in cultural sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana. He researches the thought of the Italian Renaissance and makes an original contribution to the debate on neo-humanism. He also expresses his creativity in literary form. He is an important representative of Western Slovenianism and is regularly heard in public and professional debates in the field of humanities and national minorities. His bilingualism allows him to move freely between cultural initiatives in Slovenian and Italian. The author’s debut Café Italia ( 2023) is not only an essayistic work, but also a cultural European act.

Kaja Širok

Uroš Hočevar

Kaja Širok holds a doctorate in Cultural History. She engages in research in history, museology, heritage and oral history, studies on borders and nationality, and studies of collective memory. She publishes in Slovenian and international scientific journals. She is an active member of the academic council of the House of European History in Brussels and from September 2022 member of the Executive Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). As an assistant professor of contemporary history and memory studies, Dr Širok lectures at the University of Nova Gorica. From 2011 to 2021 she headed the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia (MNZS), in 2022 she was appointed as the State Secretary for Culture in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia. She is committed to creating participatory, responsible and inclusive social environments that work for the benefit of the public and for the needs of all citizens. First and foremost, she believes that museums are spaces of social change.

Michael Stavarič

Minitta Kandlbauer

Michael Stavarič , born in 1972 in Brno, lives as a freelance writer, translator and lecturer in Vienna. He would have liked to be a marine biologist in the past, but now he writes children’s books, novels, plays and poems, but is still interested in fauna and flora, especially marine animals. When he is not writing books, he spends his time making nature documentaries.

Shqipe Sylejmani

Shqipe Sylejmani was born in Prishtina, Kosovo, in 1988 and has lived in Switzerland since the age of four. She studied journalism and communication in Zurich and has been involved in promoting culture since 2018 as president of the “Kulturwerkstatt: Techno” association. In her first book, “Burden & Blessing”, the Kosovo-Swiss author processed her experiences of migration. “Dignity and Forgiveness” is the sequel, which tells of the waves of migration of Albanians to other countries.

Federico Tenca Montini

Damjan Balbi

After completing his master’s in Sociology, Federico Tenca Montini enrolled in a joint PhD programme at the universities in Teramo and Zagreb (mentor prof. Tvrtko Jakovina). Later he dealt with various aspects of the Slovene minority in Italy during two post-doc researches at the University in Trieste. He has authored two books (2014 and 2020, the latter also available in Croatian (2021) and Slovenian (2023) translations) and scientific publications in Italian, English and Croatian. Besides his research commitments in the frame of ERC ‘Open Borders’, he is currently participating in various research programmes for the Regional Institute of History of the Resistance Movement and the Contemporary Age (Irsrec FVG).

Tatiana Țîbuleac

Natalia Rusu

Tatiana Țîbuleac was born in 1978 in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, and has Moldovan and Romanian nationality. She holds a Degree in Journalism. She made her debut as a writer in 2014 with a collection of short stories Fabule Moderne – Modern Tales. In 2017, her first novel appeared: Vara în care mama a avut ochii verzi. It was awarded the prize of the Writer´s Union of Moldova, the prize of the Observator Cultural literary magazine in Bucharest and the Lyceum prize at the FILIT festival in Iași. In Spain it was awarded the Booksellers Recommend 2020 Prize for Fiction and Calamo Prize. Grădina de sticlă is her second novel and won 2019 EU Prize for Literature. Her books are translated into ten languages. Since 2008 she has been living in Paris.

Suzana Tratnik

Zala Opara

Suzana Tratnik, born in Murska Sobota in 1963, is one of the most important Slovenian writers of our time. She studied sociology in Ljubljana and earned her master’s degree in gender anthropology. Her work includes short story collections, the novels Ime mi je Damjan (2001), Tretji svet (2007) and the young adult novel Tombola ali življenje! (2016, nominated for the “Modra ptica” award). Suzana Tratnik was awarded the Prešern Prize in 2007. Her texts have been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives and works in Ljubljana as a writer, translator and journalist.

Annemarie Türk

Nini Tschavoll

Annemarie Türk, born in 1953 in Klagenfurt, studied history, political science and Slovenian language as well as cultural management and sponsoring. From 1992 to 2013, she was head of cultural promotion and sponsorship at KulturKontakt Austria and was responsible for cultural cooperation with and in 15 countries in Eastern and Southeast Europe. Since April 2013 she has been working as a freelance curator and lecturer for various educational institutions, cultural organisations and universities.

Lea Vajsova

Boriyana Pandova

Lea Vajsova is a PhD in Sociology and Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski, where she gives lectures and seminars on Sociology of Ideologies, Sociology of Power, History of Sociology, etc. She is a member of the feminist collective LevFem. Her research interests include critical theory, social movements, everyday life and popular culture.

Florian Valerius

Bob Sala

Valerius has been a bookseller in Trier for 15 years, currently in an indie bookshop. Before that he was for many years the manager of the university bookshop. Florian Valerius, born in 1982, is also one of the most successful German-language bookstagrammers. Under @literarischernerd, he presents two to three new novels and illustrated books per week and shares with his online community of well over 25,000 followers his experiences as a reader and bookseller. In addition, he regularly holds live talks with people from the book industry.

László Végel

Daniel Végel

László Végel, born in 1941 in Srbobran/Sentomaš, studied Hungarian Language and Literary Sciences in Novi Sad and Philosophy in Belgrade. With Danilo Kiš, Aleksandar Tišma and Ottó Tolnai he is one of the great authors of Vojvodina. Végel published his first novel in 1967: the novel Egy makró emlékiratai [Memoirs of a Pimp] was, according to Péter Esterházy, “a milestone for modern Hungarian literature”. Since then, several novels, plays and volumes of essays have followed. They have been translated into several European languages. László Végel lives as a member of the Hungarian minority in Novi Sad.

Leipzig Book Fair 2020-2024

The full TRADUKI programme at the Leipzig Book Fair in the years 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2020 can be viewed here:

Poetics of Nonbelonging

For this year’s title of the TRADUKI programme at the Leipzig Book Fair 2024, we were inspired by the North Macedonian poet Nikola Madjirov. His poetic-philosophical essay (tr. Alexander Sitzmann, published in Sinn und Form) deals with “nonbelonging”, a feeling that often extends far beyond writing and into ‘real’ life. “Nonbelonging” is not something specific to Southeast European authors either; rather, the vast majority of people have a similar experience: it can be painful when you keep your distance from your “own” – whoever they may be and whatever that may exactly mean – or when a distance creeps into a relationship or a closeness never existed in the first place.

But not only pain, but also a creative force can be unleashed by this very “lack of belonging”: “I think this is the silent curse of writers: they betray their belonging at the very moment when they begin to feel they belong,” Madjirov writes in his essay. A curse? Possibly; but for us readers, it is rather a blessing when the North Macedonian poet says of himself: “I feel at home in the cave of nonbelonging” as this proves to be a “literary” productive state of being – the author as cave dweller! It is doubtful whether all the authors in this year’s TRADUKI programme share this self-perception, but we would like to ask about it in conversations and discussions. However, the invited authors are likely to agree with Madjirov on one thing: “The stories of forgotten objects are more important than the letters and orders signed by military leaders”.

Newcomers and some Leipzig regulars will be guests on the stage of our popular TRADUKI Kafana this year. Many of them will be presenting new German translations, some supported by TRADUKI. The authors will include Stefan Çapaliku, who explores the impossibility of love in the occupied Tirana of the 1940s, and Antonela Marušić, who outlines the realities of lesbian life and social inequalities on the Adriatic coast. Rene Karabash describes the lives of ‘traditional’ Albanian sworn virgins and alongside Bojan Savić Ostojić we will stroll through Belgrade’s flea markets and rescue books that have fallen out of time. Tatiana Țîbuleac takes us back to Moldova in the 80s and 90s, Nataša Krambergers poses the question of how we treat the environment and nature, and Aleksandar Hemon follows the trail of love between a Jew and a Muslim in the trenches of the First World War. With Zoltán Danyi and László Végel, we will present two Serbian authors from Vojvodina who write in Hungarian. Poetry is not to be missed: we present the award-winning Bulgarian poet Yordanka Beleva, and Nikola Madjirov will introduce us to Ivana Jovanovska, a young poet from North Macedonia.

At Café Europa, the political stage of the Leipzig Book Fair, we are organising two thematic panels this year: one discusses the Slovenian minority in fascist Italy, the other the situation and significance of the feminist discourse in Southeast Europe. And then, of course, there is the ‘one and only’ Balkan Night in the legendary UT Connewitz cinema on Saturday evening. Here – alongside other authors – Barbi Marković will delight us with her “Minihorror”. The evening shenanigans will be moderated by Vivian Perkovic and Amir Kamber to the music of the charismatic Croatian singer Sara Renar.

Drop by for a coffee at the TRADUKI Kafana (Hall 4 / D 403) and join us on our forays through the multifaceted poetics of nonbelonging. You will see how right the poet-philosopher Nikola Madjirov is when he writes: “Written words are like fish thrown into the well of a new reality – their wriggling keeps the water clean!”

Your TRADUKI team