2018 Poetry Competition Winning Poems
Read the winning poem by Canadian poet Bruce Meyer, as well as all the shortlisted poems from The Woolf’s Inaugural Poetry Competition.
2018 Poetry Competition: Judge’s Report
“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.
Meet the poets: 2018 Poetry Competition Shortlisters
“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.
In Conversation: Michelle Bailat-Jones
“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’.
In Conversation: Reto Fürst
“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
In Conversation: Mariana Villas-Boas
“Most importantly, we believe fiction and non-fiction are not contrary forces. Rather, fiction helps us better understand the outside world, so we use the stories as a bridge to explore beyond ourselves.” Mariana Villas-Boas on the thinking behind her project: StoryLabs.
Tales from the Pit #9
“Most of her soft rock, standards and show tunes have been rationed because, baby, we’re on the clock. We skip through history and the flashbacks hit me like rain: the gummy back seat of my mom’s car. The pimply audition, when I had to warble about never falling in love again about a decade too soon.” D.B. Miller shoulder-rolls down memory lane to the crooning of Dionne Warwick.
Slouching Towards Switzerland
“It’s common for New Yorkers to have a kind of cultish love for their city. As if the city’s trash, dirty sidewalks, and crumbling transportation system are a Mecca for everyone who wants to be someone. New York is the best and worst of everything. This is its Baudelairean beauty.” Tess Mangiardi on Joan Didion, grief, and the city that never sleeps.
A Mark on the Wall: Catching Snowflakes
Santa gets downright flaky chasing selfies and Schnapps in Barbara Nigg’s take on this quarter’s theme.
In Conversation: H.S. Norup
“From afar, the snow-covered mountains present this beautiful, serene panorama, but up close they are unforgiving and dangerous. I have a deep respect for these dangers—especially avalanches. At the same time, I find it amazing that something as small and insubstantial as snowflakes can become terrifying forces of nature.” —Debut novelist H.S. Norup
In Conversation: Jo Furniss
“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.
“Deep inside, I envy these animals and their freedom. They can go anywhere; they’re not bound to anything.” Take a look at the gallery of images by our featured artist, Reto Fürst: a nature lover and wildlife photographer based in Switzerland.
WriteCon 2018 in Review
“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.
And our usual selection of literary goings on in Zürich and beyond this Winter, compiled by Jim Rushing.