Culture minister Sam Tanson awarded author Ulrike Bail with the 2020 national literary competition award in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday.
Photo: ministry of culture
Luxembourg since 1978 organises an annual national literary competition, with this year’s edition dedicated to works of poetry. Collections of works submitted to the competition must be unpublished.
Bail won for her German-language poetry collection “statt einer Ankunft”, which the jury lauded for its "sensitive and poignant take on ordinary life in Luxembourg City."
Runners-up were Serge Basso, for his work “Petite cosmogonie des poèmes avec jardin”, and Paul Mathieu who submitted poetry collection “à bord”.
A separate prize is awarded to an author under the age of 25, which this year went to Tom Weber for “fluides Herz”.
The winners of the award had already been announced in October, but the prize-giving ceremony didn’t take place until 15 December in a hybrid format. While the winners and culture minister Sam Tanson were on site at the national literature centre in Mersch, audiences had to follow the ceremony digitally.
Authors submitted 52 works to the competition this year in the adult category, including 23 pieces in French, 11 in German, nine in English, eight in Luxembourgish and one multilingual text.
In the young authors category, the jury had to choose between 15 works, with seven of them submitted in English, four in French, three in German and one in a mix of languages.
The jury was chaired by Luxembourg writer Lambert Schlechter. Other members included writer and research-archivist Claude Bommertz, literature professor and journalist Sarah Lippert, teaching assistant at the University of Luxembourg Tonia Raus and writer Raoul Walisch.