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  • Cornelia Street Cafe 29 Cornelia Street New York, NY, 10014 United States (map)

Readings of the work of maverick Austrian author Thomas Bernhard celebrating the release of the first English translation of his first book, ON EARTH AND IN HELL (ISBN 978-1-94110-23-2, Three Rooms Press, bilingual (German-English), November 2015, 224 pages), which poet Edward Hirsch describes as “furious convulsions, by turns savage and tender [that] mark the beginning of Thomas Bernhard’s true work, his first startling blows.”

Admission is $9, which includes a free drink.
Copies of ON EARTH AND IN HELL will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

The evening will include readings several noteworthy Bernhard afficianados including author and cultural commentator Dale Peck (The Law of Enclosures; What We Lost); novelist and nonfiction author Lisa Dierbeck (The Autobiography of Jenny X and New York Times Notable Book One Pill Makes You Smaller); and cultural commentator and editor (Gawker, Radar, The Awl) Choire Sicha. Award-winning Paris-based theatrical director Barbara Hutt (co-author of Thomas Bernhard), will read from her prologue to the book.

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"These hard won-poems, these furious convulsions, by turns savage and tender, mark the beginning of Thomas Bernhard’s true work, his first startling blows. It is deeply illuminating to have them so wonderfully translated into English." —Edward Hirsch, poet, Gabriel: A Poem; How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry)

“[In] this full version of ON EARTH AND IN HELL, Thomas Bernhardt’s very first publication, in 1957, as a poet and, more importantly, as a writer ... [is] a hypersensitive stranger, leading me through a heart-wrenching journey, circles of hell punctuated with spring beams and unexpected bubbles of tenderness. A soul exposed to the very core, explosive." —from the Foreword by Barbara Hutt, co-author, Thomas Bernhard

“In these poems, written in Bernhard’s mid-twenties . . . all the matter of the subsequent malicious laughter is there—the self-splitting disgust and nostalgia, the hyperbolic despair, the failed (desired but also scorned) glory, the juxtaposition of village idyll and doom, of scathing superiority and terminal degradation, of sex, and nauseated frailty and exhaustion.” —from the introduction by Jaimy Gordon, author, Lord of Misrule (National Book Award winner)

"Bernhard was . . . Austria’s most important postwar writer, a provocateur who delighted in finding his country and countrymen odious and then making the best of it in his art." The New York Times


Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989) was an Austrian playwright, novelist, and poet. His body of work was cited in a New York Times book review as "the most significant literary achievement since World War II." He is widely considered one of the most innovative and original authors of the twentieth century and often associated with fellow mavericks Beckett, Kafka and Dostoevsky.


Peter Waugh is a poet, translator and editor, born in Barnet, London in 1956. He is co-editor of subdream the Vienna Journal of English Language Poetry, and publisher of Labyrinth poetry books. He studied with Allen Ginsberg, Ann Waldman, Jackson Mac Low, Ed Sanders, Andrew Schelling, Blixa Bargeld, Andrei Bitov, Henri Chopin and others. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines in England, the U.S.A., Austria, Slovakia, Macedonia and Croatia, as well as in the chapbooks Horizon Firelight (2000) and Haiku Butterfly Death Dream (2002). He is a member of Übersetzergemeinschaft literarischer und wissenschaftlicher Werke (Austrian Society of Literary and Academic Translators) and his highly-respected translations include the bilingual German-English volumes Terminal by Klara Köttner-Benigni and Standpoints by Edith Sommer. He lives in Vienna.


Three Rooms Press is a fierce New York-based independent publisher inspired by dada, punk and passion. Founded in 1993, it serves as a leading independent publisher of cut-the-edge creative, including fiction, memoir, poetry translations, drama and art. In addition, Three Rooms Press produces and promotes a variety of literary and cultural events in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more, including readings, plays, workshops and concerts. For information on the availability of translation and subsidiary rights, click here. Three Rooms Press books are distributed in the U.S. and internationally by PGW/Perseus.

Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street (between W. 4th & Bleecker)
Brooklyn, NY 11221