A Short Biography

(für die deutsche Version klicken Sie bitte hier)


Fred Viebahn, born in 1947 in Gummersbach (Rhineland), attended school and university in Cologne and later lived as a writer and journalist in the Ruhr district and in West Berlin. He published his first book, a novella, at the age of nineteen, followed by a book of short stories and a book of poems, both in 1968. His first novel, Die schwarzen Tauben, won him the German Book-of-the-Month award in November 1969. His other novels are Das Haus Che (1973), Larissa (1976), and Die Fesseln der Freiheit (1979), which appeared in 1988 in a revised American version as The Stain. Several of his plays were produced on stage and for German radio, most notably Blutsschwestern, which premiered in 1976 at Torturmtheater Sommerhausen, directed by Veit Relin. In 1973 Mr. Viebahn received the literary prize for young writers of the City of Cologne; he was also honored with Germany's most respected fellowship in literature and the arts, the Villa Massimo residency at the German Academy in Rome, and awarded grants from the city of West Berlin, the State of Northrhine-Westphalia and the West German Foreign Ministry. From 1974-76 he served on the board of directors of the German Writers Association (Verband deutscher Schriftsteller). He was also active in politics, serving on several elected and appointed regional boards of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

In the fall of 1976 Mr. Viebahn came to the United States as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program, where he met his future wife, Rita Dove, then a graduate student in the Iowa Writers Workshop. He was writer-in-residence in the University of Texas at Austin's German department for the spring of 1977, and subsequently taught German literature at Oberlin College for two years. After literary fellowships at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem, Israel and at Universität Bielefeld's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Germany, Mr. Viebahn spent eight years in Tempe, Arizona as a freelance writer and journalist and as adjunct professor at Arizona State University. Since 1989 he, his wife and their daughter Aviva (born in 1983) have been living in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he is Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Virginia and working on several literary projects.

a Click for a comprehensive resumé


ALL CONTENTS UNDER THE FOLLOWING LINKS ARE PROTECTED BY INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTIONS AND MAY NOT BE COPIED BY ANY MEANS AND IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN PERMISSION. THE AUTHOR CAN BE CONTACTED BY MAIL OR FAX: FRED VIEBAHN, c/o OFFICE OF RITA DOVE, DEPT. OF ENGLISH, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, P.O. BOX 400121, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22904-4121, U.S.A.; FAX (434) 924-1478.
 

Click for PHOTOGRAPHS
[all in low resolution JPEG; each folder contains 15-20 pictures, adding up to approx. 500-900 Kb]
1947-56     1957-60     1961-65     1966-70     1971-75    
1976-79     1979-82     1983-85     1986-89     1990-93    
1994-96     1997-99     2000-02     2003     2004    
2005-1     2005-2     2006-1     2006-2     2006-3    
2007-1     2007-2     2007-3     2008-1   2008-2   2008-3  
2009-1   2009-2

Click for ANNUAL LETTERS
[The first of these folders, 1989-1992, contains those four years as separate PDF files, while the other annual folders all contain page by page JPEG images.
Every folder is several megabytes in size, so be prepared for some download time if you use a standard dial-up modem.]
1989-1992     1993     1994     1995     1996     1997    
1998     1999     2000+2001-1     2001-2     2002    
2006    

a Click for more pictures, especially since 1976.

a Click Here to link directly to a number of videos on YouTube.

a Click for 2 videos of Fred dancing ballroom (2-3 Mb each).

a Click for Rita Dove's home page.

a Click for daughter Aviva Dove-Viebahn's website or Curriculum Vitae. (PDF file, 108 Kb)

a Click for a SPIEGEL ONLINE article (in German) about Fred & Rita (Jan. 2002).

a Click for a SPIEGEL ONLINE article (in German) about Fred (Jan. 2007). The same article is also available as a podcast.

a Click for Fred Viebahn's occasional essays (since January 2005) at the online publication Die offizielle Homepage von Henryk M. Broder (IN GERMAN ONLY!)

a Click for Fred Viebahn's essays at the online publication Die Achse des Guten (IN GERMAN ONLY!). In the left column, under >Autor< , type in Freddy Viebahn — or just Viebahn — then click on >suchen<.

a For Fred Viebahn's two hour fundraiser program on public radio station WTJU, Charlottesville, May 15, 2004:
        Click here for the first hour (9.8 Mb);
        Click here for the second hour (7.6 Mb);

 

(Please note: You need Adobe Acrobat on your computer to open PDF files. Due to their large file size, the plays will load rather slowly if you are connected to the Internet through a standard 56K modem.)

a Click for the link to the first chapter of Fred Viebahn's novel-in-progress, Slow Dust (PDF, 787 KB)

a Click for the link to Fred Viebahn's 1998 essay "Aviva's World" (PDF, 726 KB)

a Click for the link to Fred Viebahn's German translation of Rita Dove's play The Darker Face of the Earth (PDF format, about 374 Kb)

a Click for the complete German text of Fred Viebahn's 1975 play Blutschwestern (PDF format, about 2.6 Mb)

a Click for the complete text (English & German) of Fred Viebahn's 1978 play Das Naturtheater von Oklahoma (PDF format, about 2.5 Mb)

a Click for the complete text (English & German) of Fred Viebahn's 1979 play Schurz (PDF format, about 5.5 Mb)

a Click for the 1979 essay (in German) " Gelegenheiten" (PDF format, about 0.6 Mb)

a Click for the 1991 memoir (in German) "Annäherung an die Vergangenheit" (PDF format, 215 Kb)

a Click for the 2001 memoir (in English) "I CAN'T GET NO / ROLLS ROYCE ACTION" (HTML format)

a Click for the article "In Memory of Wilhelm Unger" (1983/2006; in German only)

a Click for the complete German text of Fred Viebahn's unpublished 1976 play Die Zerstörung Trojas (PDF format, about 3.8 Mb)

a Click for the complete German text of Fred Viebahn's unpublished 1977 play Die Bergung (PDF format, about 2.5 Mb)

a Click for the complete German text of Fred Viebahn's unpublished 1969/1970 play Schmitz & Co (PDF format, about 5.6 Mb).
[NOTE: This is a PDF scan from an old photocopy in very bad quality. The original manuscript burned up in our house fire in 1998. Eventually I hope to restore the text and post it here in a more readable shape.]

a Click for GEDICHTE 1961-1981 - poems 1961-1981, in German (PDF format, about 1.4 Mb)

a Click for a documentation of the 1998/99 Academy of American Poets controversy (PDF format, 777 Kb)

a Click for 2 newspaper articles about the Feb 1976 visit to the States by Fred Viebahn and eleven other German writers (PDF format, 570 Kb)