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Award of the Cultural Prize of Riehen town 2019

The Cultural Prize is awarded to the author Gabrielle Alioth

Gabrielle Alioth is a versatile author – she is awarded the prize in the amount of CHF 15'000 for remarkable cultural achievements

In the eyes of the Jury of the Cultural Prize the versatile and rich literary oeuvre of Gabrielle Alioth is forged by an exceptional style of writing which closely entwines reality and fiction. The works of Gabrielle Alioth include several novels and books for children in German as well as theatre plays, non-fiction books and most recently also poetry in English.

Gabrielle Alioth was born in 1955, grew up in Riehen and studied economics, the history of art and philosophy at the universities of Basel and Salzburg. In 1984 she moved to Ireland, where she first worked as a journalist and translator and since 1990 as a free-lance author. She is teaching at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and at the House of Literature Basel and the Adult Education Center Basel. She lives in Termonfeckin (County Louth).

Although the author is living in Ireland since many years, she is still considering Riehen as the actual and intellectual home that she carries within herself. She has contributed to the literary scene of Switzerland as a member of the program commission of the Solothurn Literary Days (from 2017 to 2020). In 1991 she was awarded the Mara Cassens Prize for her first novel.

The award ceremony for the Cultural Prize is open to the public and will take place October 22nd, 2020.

Riehen, June 2020

For further information contact:

Herbert Matthys, president of the Jury for the Cultural Prize,
Phone 079 659 23 62, e-mail:
Claudia Pantellini, head of cultural department, local government Riehen, phone 061 646 82 55, e-mail:


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Poets Coat

The Poet’s Coat – Der Mantel der Dichterin

Poems, English and German, translated by Fred Kurer, edited by Irène Bourquin

Waldgut, April 2019, Frauenfeld, ISBN 978-3-03740-138-5

Gabrielle Alioth, known as the author of many, often historical novels, for the first time presents a volume of verse. The collection The Poet’s Coat is the poetic biography of the Swiss writer living in Ireland for nearly four decades – the dark current of life, the groundwater below the surface on which the characters of her novels walk and act.

In contrast to the novels, written in German, the original language of the poems is English.
For the bilingual edition in the series lektur of Waldgut Publisher (Frauenfeld/CH) the poems were translated into German by the Swiss anglicist and poet Fred Kurer.


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Gallus, the Stranger

Lenos Verlag, Basel, September 2018 ISBN: 978-3857874895

For more than twenty years Gallus has been dwelling in the wilderness of the Steinach Valley when a stranger appears. With her questions she forces the unruly hermit to remember his past: the perilous journey that around 590 AD took him and a group of wandering monks from Ireland to the Vosges and then to Lake Constance, their violent attempts at conversion and most of all the separation from his teacher and companion, the stern Columbanus.

The story of the voluntary emigrant and social dropout of the early seventh century, who lent his name to St. Gallen, resonates with the life of the stranger at the end of the twentieth century who found a home in Ireland and lost it again. The fate of the two protagonists connects over time to form a story of emigration, love and loss



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In the Bear's Library

All Lucas really wants is to buy a piece of raspberry pie, but he gets lost in the old town of St Gallen. Thanks to Rahel, he discovers the Abbey Library of St Gall, where he meets Notker Balbulus, Otmar, Wiborada and Gallus. Lucas finds out how the city of St Gallen came into being and that it is not important where you come from, but what you do with your life.

With illustrations by Patricia Keller and a postscript by Cornel Dora

Translated by Lucretia Jacomet with Simon Froehling

SJW,  ISBN: 978-3-7269-0196-7

From 11 Years


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Literatur aus erster Hand
4.11. - 13.11. 2020, Luzern


Schreiblust – Schreibweekend

am 14. und 15. November 2020, 

jeweils von 9.30 bis 16.00 Uhr, im Literaturhaus Basel,

in Kooperation mit den alumni Basel, Universität Basel.


Der rote Faden – Textwerkstatt

am 8.1., 23.1., 6.3. und 20.3.2021

jeweils von 10.00 bis 13.00 Uhr, Volkshochschule Basel

in den Räumen der VHS beider Basel,
Clarastrasse 12, 4058 Basel



Hochschule Luzern - Design & Kunst

12. - 16. Oktober 2020: Schreibseminar für Illustratoren - Non Fiction

19. - 23. Oktober 2020: Schreibseminar für Illustratoren - Fiction

02./03./09. November und 7. Dezember 2020: Schreibseminar für Objektdesigner