Christoph Bartmann, born in 1955, has been director of the Goethe-Institut Warsaw since 2016. He studied history and German language and literature in Düsseldorf and Vienna, and subsequently worked as an editor in Lisbon. He has been with the Goethe-Institut since 1988, in Santiago de Chile, Prague, Munich, Copenhagen and New York, amongst other places. He is also a literary critic, primarily for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. His published works include “Leben im Büro. Die schöne neue Welt der Angestellten” (2012) and “Die Rückkehr der Diener. Das neue Bürgertum und sein Personal” (2016).
Luzia Braun, born in Messkirch (Baden), earned a master’s degree in history and German language and literature at the University of Freiburg and subsequently worked as a German Academic Exchange Service lecturer at the University of Milan. From 1989 to 2000, she was an independent Italy correspondent for radio and TV. From 1993 to 2011, she hosted the culture programme “aspekte” on ZDF. From 2002 to 2004, she taught in the faculty of media of the Bauhaus University Weimar and at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2012, she has been acting director of “aspekte” and editorial manager of “Das literarische Quartett”.
Tanja Graf, born in 1962, grew up in Munich. She trained to become a retail bookseller and studied Romance languages and literature, contemporary German literature and theatre studies in Paris and Munich, writing her master’s thesis on Stendhal’s unfinished novels. She completed publishing internships in Paris and New York. From 1990 to 2003, she worked as an editor for Piper Verlag, where she later became programme director. In 2004, she co-founded SchirmerGraf Verlag, which, since 2010, has been Graf Verlag, an imprint of Ullstein Buchverlage. From 2015 to 2016, she worked for Diogenes in Zurich and, since 2016, has been the director of the Literaturhaus München (Munich House of Literature).
Paul Jandl, born in Vienna in 1962, studied philosophy and German language and literature. He began working for radio and German-language culture sections in the 1980s. From 1994 to 2009, he was literary critic and correspondent for the culture section of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He began working for Welt in 2010 while also briefly doing editorial work. Since 2017, he has been back at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He has been a member of various juries, including the Bachmann competition in Klagenfurt (2009 to 2013) and the Ernst Jandl Prize. In 2008, he was the Max Kade critic-in-residence at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a recipient of the Österreichischer Staatspreis für Literaturkritik (Austrian National Award for Literary Criticism).
Uwe Kalkowski, born in 1969, worked as a bookseller in Freiburg, studied publishing in Leipzig and is head of marketing for RWS Verlag in Cologne. In his literature blog “Kaffeehaussitzer” (“Coffee House Lounger”) he writes about books, texts and reading experiences. In 2015, he was one of the “Book Prize Bloggers”, who, in cooperation with the award’s organisers, comment on the longlist for the German Book Prize. At the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017, “Kaffeehaussitzer” received the Book Blog Award for best German-language book blog.
Christine Lötscher, born in Zurich in 1970, studied history and German language and literature, and wrote her dissertation on books of spells in fantasy literature. She works as a culture scholar and independent critic, hosts literary events and participates in juries (including the Swiss Book Prize 2011-2013). From 2014 to 2016, she was a member of the team of critics on the programme “Literaturclub” on the Swiss television channel SRF. She is currently a fellow at the Cinepoetics research centre at the Free University of Berlin.
Marianne Sax was born near Lake Constance in 1964. From 1984 to 1987, she completed her training as a bookseller at Freihofer in Zurich. In 1990, she founded the bookshop “Bücherladen Marianne Sax”, which she still runs today. She has always been very active politically at various levels and was president of the Schweizer Buchhändler- und Verleger-Verband (Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association) from 2008 to 2016. Since August 2017, she has been directing the programme of the Thurgauer Literaturhaus (Thurgau House of Literature) in Gottlieben.