Urs Widmer to read from his works In the middle of the financial crisis, the St.Gallen Municipal Theatre mounted Urs Widmer’s play Top Dogs in the customer foyer of the St.Gallen Cantonal Bank. Now, the writer will appear in person in the HSG’s public programme. 21 September 2011. The schedule lists three thematic blocks (always on Thursdays) under the general heading of “VorLesung” – a play on words combining the idea of a reading with that of a lecture – in which the Swiss author will read from completely different texts and then discuss them with the audience. On 29 September, Urs Widmer will deal with ”Macht & Ohnmacht” [Power and powerlessness]; on 6 October, the topic will be “Damals & Jetzt” [Then and now]; and on 13 October, he will be examining “Heiteres & Ungeahntes” [Cheerful & undreamt-of things]. The three VorLesungen will take place in the Raum für Literatur in the Post Office Building opposite St.Gallen’s Main Railway Station from 6.15-7.45 p.m. (south entrance, St.Leonhard-Strasse 40, 3rd floor). From novels to radio plays Urs Widmer, who was born in Basel in 1938, read German and Romance languages and history. For a few years he worked as a proofreader for the publishing houses of Walter in Olten and Suhrkamp in Frankfurt. Joining forces with other proofreaders, he set up the Verlag der Autoren, the “authors’ publishing house”, in the 1960s. Soon after this start-up, he turned author himself with his first novel, Alois (1968). Widmer lives in Zurich. His extensive work ranges from novels, novellas and essays to theatre and radio plays. “A light-footed heavyweight” Widmer has received numerous awards, among them the Literature Prize of the City of Zurich (1996), the Bertolt Brecht Literature Prize of the City of Augsburg (2000) and the Great Literature Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (2002). The latest award, which he received for his extensive work, was the 2007 Friedrich Hölderlin Prize of the City of Bad Homburg. The Berlin Tagesspiegel newspaper wrote about him: “At present, Urs Widmer is the most versatile and yet most concentrated, the most light-footed and yet most heavyweight Swiss author – an heir to Dürrenmatt and Frisch. Reading Urs Widmer is the most enjoyable fitness programme against the atrophy of the pleasure we take in utopias.” Photo: Copyright © Regine Mosimann / Diogenes Verlag.