City Writer Bergen


The current writer (2022/2023) is Marion Poschmann

The City Writer Prize of the former autonomous town of Bergen-Enkheim, incorporated with Frankfurt since 1977, was established in 1974 and was the first of its kind in the German-speaking region. In the meantime it has found emulators. The significance of the Prize stems from the selection of the authors and their outstanding significance for German literature. The “inventor” of the office of City Writer was the author Franz Joseph Schneider, Bergen-Enkheimer citizen and founding member of the legendary “Gruppe 47”. His idea was to offer free writers the opportunity to live without financial cares for one year. Acceptance of the symbolic office is not contingent on any obligations. This is the key reason for the success of the Prize. It comprises the use of a small house “An der Oberpforte 4” for one year and prize money currently amounting to € 20.000.

In more than 40 years of “city writership” the people of Bergen-Enkheim have truly “perused” their City Writer – in addition to personal confrontations during readings. An adult education course dealing with the work of the prizewinners has been popular since 1977. The City Writer also has the possibility of inviting authors.

The City Writer Prize has been awarded since 1974. Previous winners have included Wolfgang Koeppen, Peter Härtling, Peter Bichsel, Katja Lange-Müller, Robert Gernhardt, Herta Müller, Wilhelm Genazino, Peter Kurzeck, Peter Weber, Katharina Hacker, Ulrich Peltzer, Marcel Beyer, Thomas Melle and Anja Kampmann.

The jury consists of four expert jurors (including the last town clerk) four jurors from the Bergen-Enkheim community, and the head of the town responsible for Bergen-Enkheim.