Alte Schmiede

The Alte SchmiedeViennaAlte Schmiedefrom 1880 on,

Alte Schmiede

Alte Schmiede

Alte Schmiede in 1975. Initially, the programme consisted mainly of readings, book- and magazine presentations and discussion events, along with exhibitions by young artists in the Galerie Alte Schmiede. Soon, however, the events also included small lecture-performances with contemporary composers. The literary programme was substantially expanded, with first symposia added, then project and research series designed in conjunction with authors, and since 1986 the poetics lecture series Vienna Literature Lectures.

The guiding criterion of the literary programme at the Alte Schmiede is material and moral support for contemporary Austrian writers. Literary debutants as well as established authors of contemporary literature have a broad variety of options for working here and presenting their writing.

A wide-ranging international programme has also evolved over the years, crossing the boundaries of German-language literature and presenting international guest authors in the German language,
on many occasions for the very first time.

No less than 4500 literary events were held over the 33 years from June 1975 to July 2008, making the Alte Schmiede the host of one of the most intensive literary event programmes in the entire German-speaking world. Over 3000 writers have stayed here to date, and it need not come as a surprise that over time, several of them have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Entering the gates of the Alte Schmiede, one immediately comes across a large old spring hammer used by Otto Schmirler. A door on the left-hand side leads into the workshop, which is now used for readings and concerts as well. The workshop is connected to the former gallery space, which is today a public reading room for a uniquely concentrated collection of some 130 German-language and European literary and cultural journals and magazines.

Dr. Kurt Neumann