“The more I work with students and performers, the more I am convinced that humans are happiest when they are given the opportunity to inhabit several roles. To wear a disguise mask can be a thrilling retreat from one’s own identity (and raise the apprehension of the viewer), but to create a new identity with a character mask, which moves, breathes and expresses itself in an entirely different but truthful way, can be exhilarating.” —Designer/maker, performer and producer, Russell Dean.
“The more I step out into nature, the more poetry reveals itself. Getting outside is a necessity, like breathing, and essential for me to keep going forward with my writing and to be well-balanced. I do not feel that humanity and nature are separate but intrinsically connected, and this belief is reflected in my poems.” Zurich-based poet TAK Erzinger on how poetry has changed her life.
“The spark for this particular book was a simple parental duty from many years ago—giving my young son a shower. Both of us dreaded that activity so much that we spent countless hours discussing ideas for a five-second shower machine. While the Bath-o-Miser, as we had named it, never materialised, this book did.” Zürich based writer Brijesh Luthra on how he got the idea for his latest book.
Read the winning poem by Canadian poet Bruce Meyer, as well as all the shortlisted poems from The Woolf’s Inaugural Poetry Competition.
“Those “bone birches”, with their touch of Plath, seem to tremble at the prospect of tomorrow. One can see the resemblance between bridal gowns, laden down birches and dejection: brides left standing at the altar of the war.” Read our judge Padraig Rooney’s comments on the poems in The Woolf’s Inaugural Poetry Competition.
“The painting is unique because Thomson captures the snow not as white dabs but as infinite digressions of white points …” Canadian poet Bruce Meyer writes about the inspiration for the poem that won The Woolf’s Inaugural Poetry Competition.
“How can anyone really know another person? How can one person understand the decisions of another? What makes connection, and what breaks it down?” Novelist and translator Michelle Bailat-Jones on the impact our words have on others, and on her latest novel, ‘Unfurled’.
“There is so much beauty around us; it’s on us to see it. In Switzerland there is always a discussion around killing more wildlife, but I think we should feel very lucky we still have wild animals. We need to find a way to live together with them. They were here before us and we are the intruders in their territory— which also reflects back to the topic of snowflake. They are delicate animals, they need a refuge to rest, especially during mating and breeding season. They need peace and shelter. We have to understand that and support it.” —Photographer Reto Fürst
“One day, when I was living in Singapore, I saw a performance of Bian Lian—Chinese opera—with a dancer who wears many masks, changing them by sleight of hand so that the audience can’t see how it’s done. This so perfectly captured Ed that I put the dancer into the novel.” Jo Furniss on her latest novel, The Trailing Spouse.
“Aim: Silence the inner editor and let your imagination out. Start writing something, anything. Use prompts, starting with the mundane and working towards essence.” A few hot tips from this year’s WriteCon.