As a literature house for Osnabrück and western Lower Saxony, our goal is to make it possible to experience exciting contemporary literature in the city and the region. Because literature means not only reading, but also exchange, conversation, encounter - be it with the authors, the artists or with each other as an audience. Our understanding of literature is an open one, just as it can be found in the wide range of contemporary texts. Literature enchants, fascinates, educates; it can stimulate social debates, bring other worlds and experiences to life, touch emotionally.
The Literature Office also wants to enable very different approaches through the different aesthetics of its events. Through cooperation with artistic partners from all fields, interactive formats as well as connections between literature and music, movement, visual arts or science are created in addition to readings. Through its networking, the Literature Office not only performs at its headquarters, the historic Ledenhof, but also uses and discovers atmospheric locations throughout the city and the region, in each case precisely tailored to the respective artistic format. Through exchanges with schools, the university, other educational institutions, as well as the city's youth institutions as a whole, we aim to open up literature to a young audience in particular.
The events of the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen focus, among other things, on the presentation of young authors, whom the public can discover in this way on an exclusive basis. We also want to encourage people to discover the world through literature. As a city of peace, Osnabrück is part of a worldwide network, which is made clear by, among others, the winners of the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Aslı Erdoğan, Henning Mankell, Jurij Andruchowytsch or Svetlana Alexijewitsch. The Literature Office would like to make this polyphony and multilingualism tangible. In addition to novels, special attention will also be paid to poetry and digital forms of literature.
Furthermore, the Literature Office is a contact and networking organization for authors from the region. It organizes workshops and author meetings and advises literary organizers.
Curious? Get an impression of all our activities, paths and goals in our video.
The new series of the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen with and at the Backstein Café and Bistro begins in September 2023 with Florian Wintels - reigning German-language champion in poetry slam - and recently a resident of Osnabrück.
Well-known Osnabrückers chat about the books of their lives in a cozy atmosphere with the director of the Literature Office, Jens Peters. Books that have inspired them, that have given them strength, that they loved as a child; books that they have thought about, laughed about or cried about. Together, the conversation partners will also repeatedly touch on the connections these readings have to the activities for which the guests have become known. The format is not limited to pure conversation: There will also be readings from favorite books, and music, pictures or film clips can also be brought along.
"What is actually read by...?" takes place as part of the "Let's Lounge" series of the Lower Saxony Literature Houses and is sponsored by the VGH Foundation. Admission is free. Reservations are possible through the Literature Office.
The reading tour for the "Prize of the LiteraTour North" is a unique project of northern German cultural institutions, bookstores, universities and the VGH Foundation. Together, they invite five German-language authors to present their current books. When subsequently deciding on the award, the jury also takes into account the votes cast by the audience during the reading tour. The readings are moderated by literary scholars who offer accompanying regular events at their universities. The VGH Foundation has sponsored the LiteraTour Nord since 2006, not only donating the €15,000 prize, but also ensuring the continued existence of the literary project, which was founded in 1992, through its partnership. In Osnabrück, the LiteraTour Nord is organized by the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen and the bookstore Atlstädter Bücherstuben with the Institute for German Studies at the University of Osnabrück.
Hanjo Kesting, the long-time head of the "Cultural Word" department at NDR, invites visitors to (re)encounter the "basic writings. Along with the stories of the Bible, the writings of Greek and Roman antiquity form the central basis of our literary culture, indeed of cultural tradition in general. Yet it cannot be overlooked that the heritage of antiquity has lost its significance. The often invoked educational canon, the writings of the ancient world, and the great texts of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and modern times are foreign to most of today's readers. Hanjo Kesting reinterrogates these ancient texts, and succeeds in making them come alive and exciting, in making us curious. Kesting guides us through the events with commentary. The texts are also meant to speak for themselves, brought to life by renowned actors and actresses. The series "Learn where we come from. Basic Writings of European Culture" was originally an initiative of the Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. In Osnabrück, it is organized by the City of Osnabrück and the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen with the kind support of the Friedel & Gisela Bohnenkamp Foundation.
The annual "Osnabrück Book and Reading Weeks for Children" in cooperation with the municipal library and the district centers - with a changing theme: from "echt klasse! (classics) to "really hip!" (zeitgeist) to "really sporty!" (World Cup year) - have become a permanent fixture in the range of literary events for children in Osnabrück.
As with the annual "School Meets Literature" project day in the Osnabrück district, all types of schools are involved.
Jens Peters was born in Beckum, Westphalia, in 1982. He discovered his passion for literature at an early age, partly through being read to a lot, from "Dead Poets Society" to "The Lord of the Rings". So, after graduating from high school, a bachelor's degree in English literature at the University of Cambridge was an obvious choice. And since he felt at home in Great Britain, he stayed on for another five years. He earned a master's degree in Text & Performance Studies at King's College London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and worked as a director and dramaturge. At the University of Exeter he finally completed his doctorate on contemporary British and German-language drama and its staging. To then work as a dramaturge, Jens Peters returned to Germany in 2013. Work at the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Staatstheater Karlsruhe brought him to the Theater Osnabrück, where he worked for five years as head dramaturg and deputy drama director. Literature has always accompanied him on this path, in recent years especially poetry. Thus, he is a member of the John Clare Society, which is dedicated to the work of this English Romantic, and has himself published on topics related to literature, translation and theater. He has taught and lectured at the University of Cambridge, Queen's University Belfast, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, among others. He currently holds a lectureship at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Osnabrück. Since 2022 he has been managing director and head of the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen.
Dr. Jens Peters
Literature Office West Lower Saxony
At the Ledenhof 3-5
Please inquire on the homepages or directly in the respective houses about the current opening and event times, prices, cancellations, etc.. This information can change at short notice!