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Novelist and poet Lutz Seiler: »Enigmatic, darkly glowing«

Photo: Eberhard Thonfeld / IMAGO

The writer Lutz Seiler will receive the Georg Büchner Prize 2023. This was announced by the German Academy for Language and Literature. "In Lutz Seiler, the German Academy for Language and Literature honors an author who began with sonorous volumes of poetry, from there found his way to storytelling, but always remains a poet who is as clear as he is enigmatic, darkly glowing, most recently with >Schrift für blinde riesen<," the jury said in its statement. As a novelist and as a poet, Seiler has found his own unmistakable voice, melancholic, urgent, sincere, full of wonderful echoes from a long literary tradition.

The prize, which is endowed with 50,000 euros, is to be awarded on 4 November at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. It is one of the most important literary awards in the German-speaking world. Seiler was awarded the German Book Prize in 2014 for his debut novel »Kruso«. In 111 he received the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for his novel »Stern 2020«. As Büchner Prize winner, Seiler succeeds the writer, actress and theatre director Emine Sevgi Özdamar.

Since 1951, the Academy has awarded the prize to writers who write in German. According to the statutes, the award winners must "stand out in a special way through their work and works" and "play a significant role in shaping contemporary German cultural life". The prize is financed by the federal government, the state of Hesse and the city of Darmstadt.

The award winners include Max Frisch (1958), Günter Grass (1965) and Heinrich Böll (1967) and, most recently, Rainald Goetz, Marcel Beyer, Jan Wagner, Terézia Mora, Lukas Bärfuss, Elke Erb and Clemens J. Setz. It is named after the playwright and revolutionary Georg Büchner (»Woyzeck«). He was born in the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1813 and died in Zurich in 1837.