Georg Büchner Prize

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Georg Büchner Prize
Awarded forauthors writing in the German language whose work is considered especially meritorious and who have made a significant contribution to contemporary German culture
Presented byDeutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung
First awarded1923

The Georg Büchner Prize (German: Georg-Büchner-Preis) is the most important literary prize for German language literature. The award is named after dramatist and writer Georg Büchner, author of Woyzeck and Leonce and Lena. The Georg Büchner Prize is awarded annually for authors "writing in the German language who have notably emerged through their oeuvre as essential contributors to the shaping of contemporary German cultural life".[1]


The Georg Büchner Prize was created in 1923 in memory of Georg Büchner and was only given to artists who came from or were closely tied to Büchner's home of Hesse. It was first awarded in 1923. Among the early recipients were mostly visual artists, poets, actors, and singers.[2]

In 1951, the prize changed to a general literary prize, awarded annually by the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. It goes to German language authors, and the annual speech by the recipient takes place in Darmstadt. Since 2002, the prize has been endowed with €50,000.

The Georg Büchner Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature[edit]

Five winners of the Georg Büchner Prize, Günter Grass (1965), Heinrich Böll (1967), Elias Canetti (1972), Peter Handke (1973) and Elfriede Jelinek (1998) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in subsequent years. The Georg Büchner Prize is frequently seen as an indicator for potential future Nobel Prize winners writing in the German language. Most recently, however, the Swedish Academy in Stockholm preceded the German Academy for Language and Literature in awarding a prolific writer from the German sprachraum. Herta Müller received the Nobel Prize in Literature but has not yet been awarded the Georg Büchner Prize.[3]

Recipients of the literary prize, since 1951[edit]

Botho Strauß by Oliver Mark, 2007
Laureate of the year 1989: Botho Strauß
Elke Erb, 2011
Laureate of the year 2020: Elke Erb
Year Name Nationality Notes Ref(s)
1951 Gottfried Benn  West Germany
1952 not given
1953 Ernst Kreuder  West Germany
1954 Martin Kessel  West Germany
1955 Marie Luise Kaschnitz  West Germany
1956 Karl Krolow  West Germany
1957 Erich Kästner  West Germany
1958 Max Frisch   Switzerland
1959 Günter Eich  West Germany
1960 Paul Celan  France /  Romania
1961 Hans Erich Nossack  West Germany
1962 Wolfgang Koeppen  West Germany
1963 Hans Magnus Enzensberger  West Germany
1964 Ingeborg Bachmann  Austria
1965 Günter Grass  West Germany
1966 Wolfgang Hildesheimer  West Germany
1967 Heinrich Böll  West Germany
1968 Golo Mann  West Germany
1969 Helmut Heißenbüttel  West Germany
1970 Thomas Bernhard  Austria
1971 Uwe Johnson  West Germany
1972 Elias Canetti  Bulgaria
1973 Peter Handke  Austria refunds the prize money in 1999 as a sign of
protest against the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
1974 Hermann Kesten  West Germany
1975 Manès Sperber  Austria /  France
1976 Heinz Piontek  West Germany
1977 Reiner Kunze  West Germany
1978 Hermann Lenz  West Germany
1979 Ernst Meister  West Germany posthumous
1980 Christa Wolf  East Germany
1981 Martin Walser  West Germany
1982 Peter Weiss  Sweden posthumous
1983 Wolfdietrich Schnurre  West Germany
1984 Ernst Jandl  Austria
1985 Heiner Müller  East Germany
1986 Friedrich Dürrenmatt   Switzerland
1987 Erich Fried  Austria
1988 Albert Drach  Austria
1989 Botho Strauß  West Germany
1990 Tankred Dorst  Germany
1991 Wolf Biermann  Germany
1992 George Tabori  Hungary
1993 Peter Rühmkorf  Germany
1994 Adolf Muschg   Switzerland
1995 Durs Grünbein  Germany
1996 Sarah Kirsch  Germany
1997 Hans Carl Artmann  Austria
1998 Elfriede Jelinek  Austria
1999 Arnold Stadler  Germany
2000 Volker Braun  Germany
2001 Friederike Mayröcker  Austria
2002 Wolfgang Hilbig  Germany
2003 Alexander Kluge  Germany
2004 Wilhelm Genazino  Germany
2005 Brigitte Kronauer  Germany
2006 Oskar Pastior  Germany /  Romania posthumous
2007 Martin Mosebach  Germany
2008 Josef Winkler  Austria
2009 Walter Kappacher  Austria
2010 Reinhard Jirgl  Germany
2011 Friedrich Christian Delius  Germany
2012 Felicitas Hoppe  Germany
2013 Sibylle Lewitscharoff  Germany [4]
2014 Jürgen Becker  Germany
2015 Rainald Goetz  Germany [5]
2016 Marcel Beyer  Germany [6]
2017 Jan Wagner  Germany [7]
2018 Terézia Mora  Hungary [8]
2019 Lukas Bärfuss   Switzerland [9]
2020 Elke Erb  Germany [10]
2021 Clemens J. Setz  Austria [11]
2022 Emine Sevgi Özdamar  Germany /  Turkey [12]
2023 Lutz Seiler  Germany [13]

Recipients 1923–50[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Georg-Büchner-Preis". Translated from Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Georg-Büchner-Preis". Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  3. ^ Leinen, Angela (29 October 2011). "Wie man den Büchnerpreis gewinnt". taz (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Sibylle Lewitscharoff wins 2013 Georg Büchner prize". Deutsche Welle. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Rainald Goetz: Top German literature prize goes to edgy ex-doctor". Deutsche Welle. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Top German literature prize goes to Marcel Beyer". Deutsche Welle. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Lyriker Jan Wagner erhält Georg-Büchner-Preis". Spiegel Online. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Terézia Mora bekommt Georg-Büchner-Preis". Spiegel Online. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  9. ^ Radisch, Iris (10 July 2019). "Traurig über seine eigenen Einsichten". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Elke Erb erhält Georg-Büchner-Preis". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Munich. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Georg-Büchner-Preis 2021 geht an Clemens J. Setz". Die Zeit (in German). 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Georg-Büchner-Preis 2022: Emine Sevgi Özdamar erhält renommierte Literaturauszeichnung". Der Spiegel (in German). 9 August 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Georg-Büchner-Preis geht an Lutz Seiler". Der Standard (in German). 18 July 2023. Retrieved 18 July 2023.

External links[edit]