The Servais Prize for literature awarded to Ulrike Bail The 2021 prize goes to the poet Ulrike Bail for her volume 'wie viele faden tief' (how many threads deep).

The Luxembourgish poet Ulrike Bail has been awarded the renowned Servais Prize for her volume of poetry 'wie viele faden tief' . The prize, which is granted for works published in Luxembourg, is one of the country’s most prestigious literary prizes.

Sewing and writing

The work, published by the German publishing house Conte Verlag, consists of 50 short texts whose common thread is the art of sewing. In the poems, characterised according to the jury by their 'bold language', sewing is construed as a metaphor for hope in that it pieces together that which has been torn apart. In addition to the texts, the book contains collages which were created during the work on the book and complement it.

'The idea of taking up the art of sewing as a poetic and cultural-historical concept and drawing from it new, unexpected connections to the everyday world is what makes this volume original. The equipment, accessories, stitching techniques and fabrics act as triggers for the encyclopaedic and sensual variety of its imagery, in which sewing is pieced together with themes such as nature, birdlife, history, time, life and death,' the jury said in its official statement.

Ulrike Bail, who holds a degree in theology, is also the winner of the 2020 National Literary Competition. She won 1st prize in the 'adult authors' category for her poem 'statt einer ankunft' (instead of an arrival), for which the jury commended the poet’s 'sensitive and sharp look at everyday life in the city of Luxembourg'.

The Servais Prize is a €6,000 literary prize granted annually since 1992 for works of poetry or prose published in Luxembourg. The prize, awarded by the Servais Foundation, can reward works in any language. Its winners include many of Luxembourg’s best-known writers, including Francis Kirps (2020), Elise Schmit (2019), Nico Helminger (2018) and Nora Wagener (2017).