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Marlene Lahmer


First Language(s): German
Second Language(s): English, Estonian


Marlene Lahmer (*1996) studies Transdisciplinary Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and English and American Studies at the University of Vienna. Her art-installations frequently include text – her writing consists of poetry mainly, but her notebooks also contain numerous unfinished essays. In August 2019, she read her first short story “SANDY” at Anatolia Schnitzel art space, Vienna.


What was your favorite book as a child?

The first book series I read by myself was “Die Knickerbockerbande” (The Knickerbocker-Kids) by the famous Austrian children’s book author Thomas Brezina. I read like thirty of them in total. It’s a detective novel series in which a group of children solves mysteries. I’d gotten the first stash from my older cousins. Until I discovered them, I didn’t like reading at all, but my parents – passionate readers themselves – never pushed me and just waited for the switch to flip.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I always made up stories about invented or already existing characters – as drawings, songs, texts, or pre-dreams. My family also remembers one or the other critical Christmas poem. Later, I wrote fanfiction to make novels, series, celebrities my own (I was very good at fan obsession). In final year of high school, I would have liked to write a spin-off of “The Great Gatsby” from Daisy’s daughter’s point of view, years later. When I started studying art, I realized that writing is the most immediate way I deal with topics, writing to understand. My first semester project was a poem called “Generally Intelligible” on artist/ author/ speaker identity with many quotations and intersections of Hugo Ball’s poetry. That was the first time writing was artistic expression to me.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

1. Getting married; 2. Going on Erasmus to Estonia; 3. Studying art

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

No, I don’t. I usually have quite a dense tissue of what I want to say or keep in mind, what crosses my mind or lingers in the back of it. The extra layer of music would distract me, I feel.


Translation ban
Issue Spring '20

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz