Do nothing //
But wait. /
It may //
Or may not /
For friends and lovers of poetry
The Lyrik Kabinett promotes poetry and activities involving poetry. It champions poetry of all languages and ages and creates a place for its safekeeping. Begun as a private initiative, the Lyrik Kabinett is now supported by a Foundation. As a forum devoted exclusively to poetry, it is a unique institution in Germany. Internationally, the Lyrik Kabinett is comparable with poetry centers in other countries, for instance the French Maisons de la poésie or the British Poetry Library in London. The Lyrik Kabinett is supported by an association of Friends.
The Lyrik Kabinett Foundation established by Ursula Haeusgen pursues its goals in four main areas:
The Lyrik Kabinett runs the second largest library specializing in poetry in Europe. Its current stock of around 55,000 items embraces German-language and international poetry as well as valuable artists’ books, audio and video media, journals, and more. Each year the library is systematically expanded with the addition of some 2,000 items. The library is open to all free of charge.
The Foundation organizes around 45 international poetry events each year (current total approx. 1,300) in the form of readings with contemporary poets from all over the world and events on poets from Antiquity to the 20th century. All readings are audio-recorded.
The Foundation publishes selected works of poetry and on poetry in a range of editions: Edition Lyrik Kabinett bei Hanser (Carl Hanser Verlag), a bibliophile edition Die blauen Bücher, the Münchner Reden zur Poesie, the Zwiesprachen (Verlag Das Wunderhorn), and the poetry calendar zilpzalp.
Lust auf Lyrik, a model educational project enabling schoolchildren to come to grips with poetry in creative ways, has been running for over 10 years.
Further, the Lyrik Kabinett supports engagements between poets and “freie Szene” initiatives and is involved in collaborative promotions of literature. It campaigns publicly on behalf of poetry with projects such as the annual Lyrik-Empfehlungen and is available for the use of anyone interested in poetry: poets, translators, publishers, students, scholars, journalists, and poetry lovers.
In all its activities the Foundation aims at enabling people (in the words of its founder Ursula Haeusgen) “to discover the beauty and fascination of poetic language—‘the mother tongue of humankind’ (J.G. Hamann)—and to enjoy the rich possibilities of expression and communicative potential that it embodies.”