Come to the Cabaret: Poetry and Prose from Switzerland


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A cabaret night of young Swiss talent

Michelle Steinbeck and Michael Fehr, two of Switzerland’s leading young poets and prose writers and winners of major national literary awards, read from their sensational works – in both English and German.

They are unforgettable wordsmiths and performers, feted across Switzerland as champions of live performance and outstanding writing – musical, hypnotic, surreal, widely published. 

They appear here in London together for the first time, Michelle to launch her first book in English and to coincide with Michael’s current residency in London by the Swiss Arts Foundation Landis & Gyr. 

They also discuss the challenges and adventures of translating their daring and innovative language with their prize-winning translators Jen Calleja and Shaun Whiteside.

Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith of the European Literature Network.

Michelle Steinbeck is only 28 and has already made a big name for herself in Switzerland as a writer of prose, poetry and drama. She is a scintillating performer and widely published. Her first stunning, surreal novel, short-listed for the Swiss Book Prize, has just been translated into English by Jen Calleja: My Father was a Man on Land and a Whale in Water.

Michael Fehr 
is one of Switzerland’s most original and exciting young poets and performers. He is also a major innovator and champion of live poetry. He calls himself 'a narrator' rather than writer, despite having published three outstanding books and won the 2018 Swiss Literature Prize. Michael Fehr is currently the 2018/2019 artist in residence of the famous ‘Swiss House’ in London, funded by the Landis & Gyr Foundation.

Jen Calleja (Michelle Steinbeck) and Shaun Whiteside (Michael Fehr) are both award-winning translators from German. Jen Calleja was the first British Library Translator-in-Residence, 2017/2018

Rosie Goldsmith is an award-winning journalist. In 20years at the BBC, she travelled the world and presented several flagship programmes. Known as a champion of international literature, languages and translation, she is Director of the European Literature Network, Chair of Judges for the EBRD Literature Prize and presenter of the literary podcast The Words.

Supported by the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia 

Image: Michael Fehr © Franco Tettamanti and Michelle Steinbeck


Name: Come to the Cabaret: Poetry and Prose from Switzerland
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £10.00
Senior 60+: £8.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Under 18: £7.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546