Julia Armfield

Julia Armfield was born in London, England in 1990. She writes fiction and occasionally theater plays. She has a master's in victorian art and literature from Royal Holloway University. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Moth Short Story Prize, longlisted for the 2018 Deborah Rogers Award, and won the 2018 White Review Short Story Prize. Her first book, salt slow, is a collection of stories about the body and the corporeal, in which she maps the skin and bones of her characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession, and love. She was awarded the Pushcart Prize in 2020. Gestalten der Tiefe (original title Our Wives Under The Sea) was shortlisted for the Foyles Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2022 and the Polari Book Prize in 2023. The author lives and works in London.

Alexandra Todorka Doza

Alexandra Todorka Doza (34), born and raised in Austria and in Tyrol, Switzerland, has lived in Zürich for almost 10 years and is considering moving to Biel. Die Wörter bei uns Daheim is the author's debut novel. She has also published an essay in an anthology during her studies. She was therefore all the more delighted to once again take part in the Biel Talks in February 2023. The submitted manuscript was revised in 2019/20 as part of a one-year mentorship with Swiss author Dorothee Elmiger. Doza sees writing as one of many ways to process reality. The author describes this reflection as a necessity, if not her duty.

Meelis Friedenthal

Estonian author Meelis Friedenthal, born in Viljandi, Estonia in 1973, wrote a dissertation at the University of Tartu on a 13th century philosophical-theological treatise on seeing and vision. Friedenthal was a lecturer at the faculty of theology and history and currently works as a research assistant at the Tartu University library. His current research topic is the humanities of the 17th century.

Friedenthal has made a name for himself as an author of speculative novels. His first novel, Goldenes Zeitalter, deals with the role of history in shaping our identity and won third place in a national novel competition in 2004. The following year, his story Nerissa won an Estonian science fiction prize. He is also a member of the editorial board of the webzine Algernon, which publishes science fiction stories, news and articles. While working on Die Bienen, Friedenthal also wrote an extensive postscript about the historical context of the events described in the novel.

Michel Rochon

Michel Rochon is a Canadian science and medical journalist, author, columnist, lecturer, composer, and pianist. He was born in Sorel, Quebec, in 1959. Since retiring from Radio-Canada in 2017, he has taught at the École des Médias of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

He published his first essay, Le cerveau et la musique, with Éditions MultiMondes (2018)5,6,7,8,9, which appeared in a new paperback edition with Bibliothèque québécoise (2021). The book is a critical and commercial success and was a finalist for the 2019 Hubert Reeves Prize and the Opus Prizes of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique (2018-2019)10. Michel Rochon's second essay, L'amour, la haine et le cerveau, was published by Éditions MultiMondes (2020)11 and its Italian translation by Codice Edizioni in 2022.

Lea Gottheil

Lea Gottheil is an author and bookseller and lives in Zürich, Switzerland. She has already published a volume of poetry and writes for the collective Literatur für das, was passiert. Her debut novel Sommervogel was published by Arche Verlag in 2009.


Zense is a Zürich-based consultant firm and agency that creates complex content of all kinds. Its services include explanatory products (animations, infographics, interactive websites), gamification solutions, science communication, and change mobilization.

Annette Beger

Annette Beger was born in Zürich, Switzerland in 1972. She studied acting at the Berliner Schule für Bühnenkunst, completed a classical voice training in Essen, and earned a diploma in cultural management at the Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW). Annette Beger founded the Kommode Verlag in October 2010.

Daniel Fehr

Daniel Fehr, born in Winterthur, Switzerland, writes picture books for children from all over the world. He also invents board games for children, families, and adults. He has published numerous books and games to date, many of which have won international awards.

Marie-Anne Legault

Marie-Anne Legault is from Abitibi in Canada and moved to Montreal to study communication science. Over the years, her passion for sharing knowledge has led her to write and edit various reference works for the publisher Québec Amérique. In 2013, she published her debut Le Museum. La traque de phénix followed in 2020 and is her debut on the German-language literature market.

Lulu Miller

Lulu Miller is the co-host of Radiolab and co-founder of the radio show Invisibilia (NPR National Public Radio), which debuted in early 2015 and "explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior - things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions". Lulu Miller is a science journalist and her work has been honored with the Peabody Award. Her articles have been published in The New Yorker, VQR, Orion, Electric Literatur, Catapult and other magazines. Humpback Rocks is her favorite place on earth.

Laia Birchler

Laia Birchler was born in Zürich in 2004 and grew up by Lake Zurich. She was confronted with the topics of "normal" and "being different" at an early age. In the summer of 2023, she completed her Matura with a Spanish profile at the Ramibühl Literature High School in Zürich. Her Matura thesis with the working title "Was ist schon normal" (today the publication Was brauchst Du?) was nominated for the best Matura thesis in the canton of Zürich and awarded the Preis der ehemaligen LG Schüler (VEGL).

Milena Adam

Milena Adam was born in Hamburg in 1991 and lives in Berlin. She translates and interprets to German from French and English. Most recently, her translations of Sandra Newman's novels Ice Cream Star (2018) and Himmel (2020) were published by Matthes & Seitz Berlin. Shubhangi Swarup's Breiten des Verlangens (Latitudes of Longing) is the first work she has translated for Kommode Verlag.

Pierre Ducrozet

Pierre Ducrozet, born in Lyon in 1982, published his fifth novel in 2020, Le grand vertige, and has already received various awards in France. His first three novels were published by Grasset: Requiem pour Lola rouge (2010; Prix de la Vocation 2011), La vie qu'on voulait (2013), and the highly acclaimed novel Eroica (2015, shortlisted for the Prix de Flore) - his fictionalized biography of the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. His last two novels were published by Actes Sud: Le grand vertige and L'invention des corps (Prix de Flore). Pierre Ducrozet is the son of an Austrian mother and a French father, lived in Berlin for several years, and now lives in Barcelona.

Lena Lindgren

Lena Lindgren (born 1969) lives in Oslo. She is a political editor at the Norwegian daily Morgenbladet. Echo – Ein Essay über Algorithmen und Begehren is her first publication in book form.

Catherine Safonoff

Catherine Safonoff, born in Geneva in 1939, is an author of autobiographical novels. She has previously worked as a literary critic for the Journal de Genève and Radio Suisse Romande (RSR). She has written several screenplays for television as well as novel adaptations for cinema (Polenta by Jean-Marc Lovay for Maya Simon) and for theater (Wunschloses Unglück by Peter Handke). In 2007, she was awarded the Prix quadriennal of the city of Geneva in the literature category for her complete works, as well as the Prix Michel-Dentan. Her latest book, Le Mineur et le canari, was shortlisted for the Prix Fémina and received the Swiss Literature Prize.

David Unger

Writer and translator David Unger (Guatemala/USA) received the Miguel Angel Asturias literary prize for his life's work in 2014. His latest novel, The Mastermind (Akashic, 2016), has been translated into ten languages. His other published novels include The Price of Escape, Para Mi, Eres Divina, Ni chicha, ni limonada and Life in the Damn Tropics. His short stories and essays have appeared in various international journals, including the Paris Review. He has translated 18 books: Mr. President by Guatemalan Nobel laureate Miguel Angel Asturias (Penguin Classics, 2022), The Popol Vuh, Guatemala's Pre-Columbian Creation Story, and the works of Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala), Silvia Molina (Mexico), Nicanor Parra (Chile), Teresa Cárdenas (Cuba), Mario Benedetti (Uruguay), among others. His novel In My Eyes, You Are Beautiful was published by Mosaic Press in Toronto.

Inga Ābele

Inga Ābele is considered one of the most important Latvian writers of her generation. Her unique writing style, which brings out the richness of the Latvian language, is characterized by strong imagery and intense atmosphere. Inga Ābele manages to completely harmonize the personalities of the protagonists with the environment, be it a Latvian household, a landscape or an era in history, while leading the reader by the literary hand through hard-hitting reality as if it were a fairy-tale forest.

Ida Lødemel Tvedt

Ida Lødemel Tvedt, born in 1987, previously taught essay writing in Norway and the US at the New School and at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Guernica, N+1., Vagant, Vinduet, and Daz Magazine, among others. Currently she is writing reports for the Norwegian newspaper Dag og Tid. Marianegropen (Gyldendal, Oslo 2019) is her debut.

Claudia Schneider

Claudia Schneider (born 1963) embarked on a trip around the world at the age of 22. She then became a freelance writer and photographer for German-language media, including Merian, NZZ, Tages-Anzeiger, and Cosmopolitan, and published 15 travel guides with Bild-Atlas, Marco Polo and Regenbogen-Verlag. Since 2004, she has been the editor of a local newspaper in her home canton of Zug. In Was wir über Bewusstsein wissen sollten, she follows up on her fascination with consciousness and embarks on an inward journey.

Demian Cornu

Demian Cornu was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1981, earned degrees in religious studies and history, and worked in asylum processing at the State Secretariat for Migration for nine years. Transite kleiner Welten is his literary debut.

Annelie Kebschull

Annelie Kebschull (born 1999) grew up in a spa town in northern Germany and now lives in Lüneburg. She studied communication design, driven by a vision of how effective structures could make life easier. During her studies she discovered a fascination with psychology and dedicated herself to the question of how personality can be visualized. She is now working toward a degree in cultural studies, still looking for ways to make the most meaningful contribution possible to building a better world.

Shubhangi Swarup

Shubhangi Swarup is an author, journalist, and educator. Breiten des Verlangens (Latitudes of Longing), her first novel, is an international bestseller and has been translated into 15 languages. It won the Sushila Devi Award and the Tata Literature Live! Award for debut novels and was shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Indian Literature. Shubhangi Swarup was awarded the Charles Pick Scholarship for Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Goa, India, where she looks out over a rapidly changing seascape from her desk.

Maria Zimmermann

Maria Zimmermann was born in Zurich Switzerland in 1991. She studied Arts and Design Education at the Zurich University of the Arts. She self-published her thesis, "299 Dresses", and her work ‘#fridgelove’ was exhibited at the Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur. Since 2018, she has worked as a textile artist, producing works of embroidery under the label ‘Alles wird gut’ (Everything’s going to be alright). Her larger works adorn album covers, jackets, and walls.

Géraud Guillet

Géraud Guillet is an innovation expert who holds a degree in international management. He is the author of À la fin de ce livre vous ne fumerez plus : L’Expérience TESK (Hachette Pratique). Shaped by extreme personal experiences, Géraud Guillet has created books promoting innovative, optimistic, and effective ways of thinking that open up new prospects for a better life.

Tibor Joanelly

Tibor Joanelly is an architect, publicist, and teacher. He received his degree in architecture at the ETH Zurich and worked in numerous well-known Swiss architectural offices. Alongside his practice, he led atelier discourses with Swiss architects such as Christian Kerez, Valerio Olgiati, and Livio Vacchini. He has published essays and articles in various architectural magazines. Tibor Joanelly has taught at the Budapest University of Technology, at ETH Zurich, and at the University Liechtenstein. He currently lectures on Architectural Critique at the University for Applied Sciences in Winterthur ZHAW and he is an editor of the Swiss architectural magazine werk, bauen + wohnen.

Thomas Pfenninger

Thomas Pfenninger (b. 1984) grew up in Zurich, Switzerland and now lives in Bern. Alongside his work as a freelance author and copywriter, he is press spokesman and communications officer for a number of companies in Zurich, Berlin, and Bern. In 2017, he self-published Fragmente, a volume of poetry addressing the relationship between truth and perception. In 2018, he finished work on a novel, Die Löffel-Monologe, which has not yet been published. Gleich, später, morgen is his debut novel.

Seraina Kobler

Seraina Kobler is a journalist and author. After graduating, she worked as an editor for various daily and weekly newspapers. In the domestic section of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, she was responsible for social issues before setting up her own writing studio in Zurich's old town. She is the mother of four children. Regenschatten is her first novel. Seraina Kobler's literary work has been supported by various foundations, as well as the Federal Office of Culture.

Jörg Rehmann

Jörg Rehmann was born in Merseburg (Sachsen-Anhalt) in 1966 and grew up in East Germany. His work has been published in magazines and anthologies. He studied nursing management, now lives in Berlin, and works as a lecturer.

Stephan Schmitz

Stephan Schmitz is an award-winning illustrator based in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied illustration at the Lucerne School of Art and Design. Stephan loves to surprise his viewers and can tell an entire story in a single picture.
His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators in New York, American Illustration, Applied Arts magazine, and 3x3, the Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. In 2015, Creative Quarterly named him one of their Top 25 illustrators. Lürzers Archive named him one of the world’s 200 best illustrators of 2016/2017.

Maarja Kangro

Maarja Kangro was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1973. She is one of the most compelling Estonian authors and poets of the 21st century. Her work, which has won numerous literary awards and tributes from her readers, gives expression to a complex and distinctive perception of life. It ranges from cynical social comedy, political reportage, and intellectual game-playing to expressions of deep empathy with physical suffering and bodily fragility. Kangro began her literary career as a translator (of, among others, Leopardi, Zanzotto, Agamben and Enzensberger) and as a writer of libretti for contemporary classical composers. Her poems and short stories have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Nadine Olonetzky

Nadine Olonetzky was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1962. She studied at the Schools of Design in Basel and in Zurich. After on-the-job training on the editorial staff of the cultural magazine du, she worked as an adjunct at Kunsthalle Wien and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur. She was responsible for visual arts projects at the Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau for several years and was editor of the arts supplement of the literary magazine entwürfe.
Olonetzky is an author and editor and writes on topics having to do with photography, art and cultural history for publications including NZZ am Sonntag. She is a member of “kontrast”, and, since 2008, project leader and copy editor at Scheidegger & Spiess.

Dag O. Hessen

Dag Olav Hessen earned a candidatus realium degree in zoology in 1982, a master’s in public law in 1984, and a doctorate in biology in 1988. In 1993, he was appointed professor of biology at the University of Oslo. He has been a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters since 1998. Hessen is the leader of the “Centre for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene” at the University of Oslo.
In his publications, Hessen addresses themes such as ecology, evolution, and food systems, connecting them to other disciplines such as ethics and philosophy. He has published several books on popular science and has been awarded, among other prizes, the Fritt Ord Honorary Award, the Riksmål Society Literature Prize, the Akademikerprisen and the Humanistprisen.

Juha Hurme

Juha Hurme was born in the town of Paimio in Finland. He earned a degree in biology. Since the 1990s he has written and staged plays and published several novels. Hurme is considered one of the most innovative directors and playwriters in Finland. In 2006 he won the Eino-Leino prize for his staging of classics, the Jarkko-Laine prize for his novel Nyljetyt ajatukset (Skinned Thoughts) in 2014, as well as the most important theatre prize in Finland, the Eino-Kalima prize. In 2017, he was awarded the Finlandia prize for his novel Niemi (The Peninsula).

Nicholas Lobo Brennan

Nicholas Lobo Brennan studied at the University of the Arts London, the Royal College of Art, and London Metropolitan University. Together with Tom Emerson, he teaches design, construction, and history courses at the ETH in Zürich. In 2010, he founded the GRUPPE architecture practice with Christoph Junk and Boris Gusic. GRUPPE won the Swiss Art Award for Architecture in 2012.

Sasha Cisar

Sasha Cisar studied at the ETH Zürich, Tokyo University of Arts, and the University of Liechtenstein. He is the founder of THEORIST, a platform for critical discourse on architecture and urbanism. He served as editor of the journal published by the architecture department at the ETH Zürich for six years. Currently, he researches and teaches sustainability, economics, and the crisis in architecture with Arno Schlüter at the ETH Zürich.

Jeremy Stangroom

Jeremy Stangroom lives and works in Toronto, Canada. In addition to his work as an author, he teaches sociology and psychology. In 1997 he founded The Philosophers’ Magazine. He is the author of Einstein’s Riddle (Bloomsbury) and The Story of Philosophy (Quercus), a joint effort with James Garvey.

James Garvey

James Garvey is an American philosopher. He earned his doctorate at University College, London. He lives in England and works at the Royal Institute of Philosophy. He is the editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine and a series of books called Think Now. He regularly writes for The Guardian about climate change and morality.

Julian Sartorius

Julian Sartorius was born in Thun, Switzerland, received private drum instruction from Fabian Kuratli and Michael Wertmüller and studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern and at the Musikhochschule in Luzern. He has worked with nationally and internationally known artists such as Pierre Favre, Hans Koch, Sophie Hunger, Big Zis, Matthew Herbert, and Rhys Chatham. He has received numerous prizes and awards for his achievements.

Susi Wirth

Susi Wirth was born in Chur, Switzerland in 1970. She grew up in Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and now lives and works in Germany. After completing her training as an actor, she performed on a variety of stages and has worked with many independent theatre groups. In 2000, she and the composer and musician Olivier Gabus founded the Companie Sous-sol, which has received many awards. Susie Wirth has written numerous plays.

Mihkel Mutt

Mikhel Mutt was born in Tartu, Estonia, in 1953. He is the son of the well-known translator and anglicist Oleg Mutt. He studied Estonian philology and began his career as a critic and editor. He was the editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine Sirp and until recently of Looming, the leading literary magazine in Estonia. Mutt made his name as an essayist, political commentator, literature and theatre critic, and translator. Since the 1970s, he has published a variety of novellas, essays, and satirical novels, as well as a children’s book. He has been awarded numerous prizes.

Ilmar Taska

Ilmar Taska grew up in Estonia and studied at the Moscow Film Institute. He works internationally as a producer, director, and screenwriter. He made his debut in the literary world with the autobiographical novella Better Than Life. His short story "Pobeda", out of which grew the novel Pobeda 1946, was awarded the Estonian Literature Prize in 2014. Ilmar Taska is a unique phenomenon in Estonian literature. His works have received international accolades and have already been translated into several languages.

Lu Bonauer

Lu Bonauer, born in Basel, Switzerland in 1973, writes prose and poetry. His works have appeared in a number of anthologies and have won awards in various competitions. He was the winner of the OpenNet writing competition at the Solothurner Literaturtage and wrote the Text of the Month selected by the Literaturhaus Zurich in March of 2002. In 2008 and 2016, he received sponsorship awards from the Panel of Experts in Literature of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft for the novel-writing projects Heartbeat behind Rock and OLI’s God. In spring 2019, Lu Bonauer was awarded a grant from the cultural foundation Pro Helvetia.

Ashley Curtis

Ashley Curtis was born in California, USA in 1959. He studied Chinese and biblical literature at Yale and physics and physics pedagogy at Smith College. He taught at the Ecole d’Humanité in Hasliberg, Switzerland for many years, where he served as co-director from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Error and Loss: A License to Enchantment (2017), The Soul in the Stone - Why the Worldview That Will Save Our Planet Is More Credible Than the One That Is Destroying It (2023) and the mystery novel Hexeneinmaleins (2019), all published by Kommode Verlag, and the cultural history “O Switzerland!” (Bergli). Ashley Curtis lives just outside the Val Grande National Park in northern Italy.

Patric Sandri

Patric Sandri was born in Uster, Switzerland in 1979. In 2007, he received his degree in illustration from the HGK FHZ in Luzern, and his master’s from the Royal College of Art in London in 2012. Since then he has created illustrations for newspapers, magazines, books, and posters both nationally and internationally. Lately he has been honing his collage techniques. His approach is conceptual, and he likes to surprise the viewer with unconventional solutions.

Isabelle Capron

Isabelle Capron moved from Paris, France to Zurich, Switzerland twenty years ago. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne University. Today she teaches French at the Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) and is a member of the authors and artists collective "index".

Marianne Smolska

Marianne Smolska is a French artist and designer from Paris, France. She now lives in Hanoi and works on various projects in the fields of illustration and graphic design for public and private institutions as well as international NGOs.

Rudy Simone

Rudy Simone is the author of six books. She founded and developed Help for Aspergers and the International Aspergirl Society®, in which she serves as president. Simone is also a composer, musician, producer, sound engineer, actor, and comedian. She has released three albums and regularly gives live performances. American by birth, Simone has lived in various countries. Some of the most significant print publications, including The New York Times, The Sunday Times (of London), The Daily Mail, AERA (Japan), and Time Magazine, have interviewed Simone or reported on her work.

Jan W. Faul

Jan W. Faul was born in Port Chester, NY, USA in 1945. He has been a photojournalist, commercial photographer, and artist in the US and Europe for 40 years. His advertising photography has won dozens of awards from Art Directors Clubs and professional competitions.

Séamas Ó Maolchataigh

Séamas Ó Maolchataigh was born in the south of County Tipperary in 1884. His father worked as a gamekeeper for a local landowner; his mother, Margaret Burke, was from the same area. Séamas Ó Maolchataigh had a keen interest in folklore and place names throughout his life, and was considered an expert on the Irish dialect of the region. Publishing his work proved difficult, however. He was not satisfied with the publication of his main work An Glenn agus a Raibh Ann (the original Irish title) when it finally appeared, heavily edited, in 1963.

Martin Avi Abraham

Martin Avi Abraham was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1968, and studied German, comparative literature, and architecture. After completing his studies in group dynamics, he began a successful career as a management consultant. In 2001, he felt the call to travel. His journeys took him, via Granada and Tuscany, to Switzerland, where he settled and now lives. The theme of his literary work is traveling or, more accurately, about seeking and being on one’s way.