Erich Klein, born in 1961, is a freelance journalist and translator who lives in Vienna. He contributes regularly to the programmes “Ex libris”, “Diagonal” and “Kontext” on Austrian radio station Ö1 and to the periodicals Falter, Die Furche and Anzeiger. Most recently, together with M. Patka, he published “Jewgenij Chaldej – Fotograf der Befreiung” (Jewish Museum Vienna 2021). He edits thematic issues of the magazines Wespennest and Facetten. Literarisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz and translates from the Russian.
Frank Menden, born in 1969, is a professional bookseller. Since 2011, he has been working in the bookshop “stories! Die Buchhandlung” in Hamburg, where he moderates readings and participates in the bookshop’s podcast “stOHRies!”. In 2017, he started a Instagram account under his name, reviewing books and films and paying tribute to cultural figures. He was on the jury of the Hubert Fichte Preis (Hubert Fichte Prize) in 2020.
Uli Ormanns is the owner of the bookshop “Agnes Buchhandlung”. He comes from a family of booksellers that has had various shops in Cologne since the 1980s. He co-initiated the series “Literatur in St. Agnes” (“Literature in St. Agnes”) and his bookshop has received the Deutsche Buchhandlungspreis (German Bookshop Prize) four times in various categories.
Isabelle Vonlanthen, born in 1973, studied Slavic languages and literature and contemporary history in Fribourg (Switzerland) and St. Petersburg and did her doctorate on the question of Polish national literature. Since 2011, she has been working as a programme planner at the Literaturhaus Zurich, where she curates an annual international literature festival, among other things. With her work for the “ch-Reihe” series, she promotes dialogue between Switzerland’s various literary languages. From 2014 to 2021, she was president of the Literaturkommission (literature commission) of the city of Zurich.
Selma Wels is one of the co-founders of the Berlin-based publishing house binooki Verlag, which she directed from 2011 to 2020. She has received numerous awards for her publishing work, including the Kurt-Wolff-Förderpreis (Kurt Wolff Prize). Since 2020, Selma Wels has been working as a freelance cultural mediator focused mainly on literature and diversity. Among other things, she co-initiated and co-curates the festival “WIR SIND HIER. Festival für kulturelle Diversität” (WE ARE HERE. Festival for Cultural Diversity).
Jan Wiele is a literary editor at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Born in Herford in 1978, he studied German and English language and literature in Heidelberg and taught German as a foreign language abroad. After completing a doctorate on the modern novel, he became a journalist. He also covers pop music in the literature and arts section of FAZ and is a critic for the public broadcaster SWR’s “Bestenliste” (critics’ choice list).
Miriam Zeh works as a literary editor at the radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She studied music, German language and literature and philosophy. In 2021 she defended her dissertation on the staging of literary work at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Most recently, she has written essays and reviews for various ARD radio stations and as co-editor of the magazine POP. Culture and Criticism. At “Books up!” she presented literature for young audiences on Instagram.