Poet, novelist and dramatist Volker Braun was invited to the Stückemarkt in 1981 with the play “Schmitten”. Another play of his, “Die Übergangsgesellschaft” (Society in Transition), was the first guest production to be invited to the Theatertreffen from East Berlin. Other important plays by Braun include “Lenins Tod” (Lenin’s Death), “Großer Frieden” (Great Peace), “Limes. Mark Aurel” and “Was wollt ihr denn”. After doing jobs as a printer, engineer and machinist, from 1960 he studied Philosophy in Leipzig and became a dramaturge at the Berliner Ensemble in 1964. He has been a guest at the Villa Massimo in Rome, has held a series of poetry lectures at the University of Heidelberg and has taken up the Brother Grimm Professorship at the University of Kassel. Despite his critical stance towards the GDR, he was awarded the Heinrich Mann Prize by the Akademie der Künste Berlin (East) in 1980 and first class in the National Prize in 1988. In 2000, he received the Georg Büchner Prize.