Summer Session 2011

After two wet and windy weeks, summer returned just in time for the newleaf Summer Season reading on July 5th, 2011.

The Summer Season reading also marked the debut of our new venue, the Wilhelm-Wagenfeld-Haus, a former prison turned design museum. The ground floor is currently housing an exhibition of plastic design. The audience had to make their way past some lovely Art Deco radios made from bakelite to get to the cellar whose vaunted ceilings and brick walls made it easy to imagine the claustrophobic conditions of the old prison cells. Many thanks to former newleaf author Andrea Kuhfuss who works at the Wagenfeld Haus and arranged this wonderful venue for us free of charge.

The audience turnout was very good, even though newleaf was up against both the Breminale and Germany playing France in the women's football world cup. Because we started an hour earlier than usual, the reading finished just in time to allow football fans to rush home and catch a tension and goal-filled match. Germany beat France 4:2 by the way.

In the past few years, newleaf has become an increasingly international magazine. The drawback, however, is that fewer current authors are able to come to our readings. Therefore, we have started the practice of having those newleaf authors who actually are from Bremen read the texts of their peers from elsewhere in the world.

For the Summer Season reading, four newleaf authors selected their favourite texts from present and past issues. First up was Elke Marion Weiß who read poems by Jeremy Page, Joshua Seigal, Roxanne Paris and Lauren Lundin as well as her own poems "Deadly Ambrosia" and "Metamorphoses". Elke made time for newleaf, even though she is currently hip-deep in copyedits, for her first novel Triangel comes out in January 2012 while her second novel Die Reise nach Samarkand can be expected in 2013.

Longterm newleaf author Ole D. Herlyn delighted the audience with poems by Sarah Quigley, Patrick Fischer, Michael Stefan Kalisch and Anna Haraseyko as well as some of her own. Another classic newleaf author, Kirsten Steppat, offered animal themed poems by James Owens, Vivien Jones, Ann-Kathrin Schwarz (who has the distinction of being the first newleaf author ever to rocket to bestsellerdom) and of course by herself.

Compared to longterm stalwarts like Ole and Kirsten, Elisabeth Dutz is still a relative newcomer to newleaf. She read poems by Myrthe Brouwer, Tracy Rosenberg, Russell Jones and Anna Haraseyko as well as a few Christian themed poems of her own.

Teacher and freelance journalist Rob Hyde performed his stand-up comedy act with observations about the ubiquity of Becks in Bremen (which was also visible at the reading), the inadequacy of fish 'n chips as interpreted by Nordsee and the sometimes shocking behaviour of nice little old ladies on Bremen trams.

The event was hosted by newleaf editor Ian Watson while Jan Ströh and his guitar provided the music.