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Hello, one and all,
Spring is the time of year to look at tiny green shoots, plant seeds and watch things grow. A time to escape one’s own room and embrace the world. Or bare your teeth.
This issue of The Woolf is all about the little things and the great potential within.
“Working with genetic code is in some ways the ultimate creation—manipulating the building blocks of life.” Filmmaker, director and producer, Lucia Helenka, talks to Susan Platt about her short film STEM, a biopunk drama on (r)evolution.
“There’s something about working at such small scale that gives people the ‘permission’ to imagine.” The Little Gardens Project is the brainchild of Steve Wheen, who explores happiness in miniature.
Robert Walser, a Swiss author whose tiny handwriting shaped books beloved by so many—and now available in English translation—should be better known, according to JJ Marsh.
In Tales from the Pit, D.B. Miller finds the audience at live gigs every bit as fascinating as what happens onstage.
Take a closer look at the Gallery: images from the STEM project.
“As a writer, I believe in the power of language. Writing has the ability to inspire us, to get us thinking in new ways, to nourish us.” Darcy Alexandra shares how and why she organised Writers Resist at Cabaret Voltaire, part of a global movement to celebrate the demands of justice.
View from the stalls: One writer in the audience at the Zürich Writers Resist event relates her own experience of the night.
And all the goings-on, readings, workshops, activities and literary action are all neatly rounded up by Liam Klenk in Making Tracks.
Inspect some of Steve Wheen’s tiny Pothole Gardens in the Gallery.
Have a glorious, creative springtime, and if you’d like to contribute, please contact us via oureditorial page. Our Summer theme will be ‘Waves’.
Jill and Libby
This summer, we are howling with joy to welcome Susan Platt—all-round tech whiz and creative mind—onto the Woolf organisational team, and we look forward to roaming into new territory over the coming months. Keep your ears pricked and noses to the wind …
This issue we feature transgressions and drawn lines and all things ‘Borders’.
Paul Neale, contemporary artist, discusses red lines and coded environments, fractured figures and distorted bodies, and how pre-existing imagery adds texture to perception.
Switzerland-based Irish poet Padraig Rooney expands on the themes behind The Gilded Chalet, talking con-men and le Carré and the coherence of disparate times.
In the latest instalment of Notes from the Unexpected, writer DB Miller finds herself once again on the shores of the Zürisee … this time at the Rote Fabrik.
Zürich-based writer Liam Klenk is in conversation with Susan Platt: his nomadic life, his journey over gender boundaries and the importance of fluidity to a Paralian.
Novelist Lindsey Grant, one of the original forces behind NaNoWriMo, adds a personal note to the blurring of boundaries, as she prepares for the birth of her first child in a country that’s not her own.
In the first instalment of The Voyage Out, Susan Platt ventures into the magical realm of Mr. Pinocchio: a children’s toyshop born from the mind of a multilingual story-lover.
Short stories, snagging agents, indie publishing and marshmallows … novelist Olivia Wildenstein shares her learnings from this year’s Geneva Writers Conference.
And we are honoured to showcase a selection of visual artist Paul Neale’s rich, cross-media works in our summer edition Gallery.
Plus we have all the usual literary goings-on in Zürich and beyond this summer on our regular events section: Making Tracks.
Until the leaves turn, may the wind blow kinda cool.
Jill and Libby
It’s Spring!!! No, don’t look out of the window, just trust us. Spring begins when The Woolf comes out. And The Woolf is most definitely out.
This issue, we’re going Down the Rabbit Hole, following our noses, and emerging in some curious places with even curiouser characters.
Australian Athens-based writer, editor, designer and musician Jessica Bell walks us through a deeply chameleonic life of words, music and images.
Black comedy, LA-style: organised crime, enchiladas and fruit juice. Zürich-based Daniel Pieracci talks about how NanoWriMo led to his debut novel, Take Your Shot.
From Bondi Beach to the remote Welsh hills, visual artist and entrepreneur Craig Kirkwood discusses his yearning for something lasting and how it led to his recent publication, Aber: a pictorial homage to the Welsh town of Aberystwyth.
DB Miller’s Notes from the Unexpected opens a small door into Rue de Framboise, a tattoo and piercing establishment with a difference.
In Explorations in a Parallel Cultural Universe, Berlin-based Chris Corbett digs down into the after-dark, dying art of book touring to promote his first novel.
Australian visual artist Craig Kirkwood shares a selection of images from his homage to the Welsh town of Aberystwyth, in this issue’s Gallery.
Jo Furniss, member of our writerly pack, is leaving prints of her own all over Singapore, as she co-founds SWAGLit, Singapore’s newest litmag for writers.
And finally—it’s so exciting we’re bunny-hopping all over the shop—check out Making Tracks and our May writers’ workshops at WriteCon16! Our workshop weekend has it all, for writers at whatever stage of development, and right in the centre of Zürich. Places are more limited than usual to allow for the personal touch, so don’t be a Dormouse—grab your place now.
See you in Wonderland!
Libby and Jill
If you’d like to contribute to the next edition of The Woolf—released into the wild in June (theme: Beginnings)—contact us through our Editorial page.
Roll up, roll up, for The Woolf‘s weighty Winter bounty …
Cabbages, dough, filthy lucre … This season, you can look forward to all manner of discussions around the stuff that ‘makes the world go round’.
Author and Wall Street based financial behaviourist Jacquette M. Timmons talks about how our stories—our past, our context, our attitudes—affect our relationship and our actions with money.
Zürich-based artist Kaye Llewelyn dives into the story behind the making of her picture book, Pocket Money … on serendipity, fluidity, opportunity … and no words.
D.B. Miller finds hidden gems when she talks with the artists behind Les Millionnaires jewellers, in Zürich’s well-heeled Old Town.
The Woolf‘s very own Jill J. Marsh unearths treasure chests of writerly goings-on at FutureBook’s very recent Author Day in London.
We take a meander through Australian artist Kaye Llewelyn’s colourful children’s picture book, Pocket Money, in this issue’s Gallery.
Independent book publicist Helen Lewis talks about PR and marketing, and gives authors her top tips for working with a publicist.
Zürich-based poet and journalist Claire Doble wrestles with what it means to have money while living in one of the richest countries in the world …
… while Switzerland-based writer Marie Hélène Prosper ponders, and dreams, in short prose, the nature of money … and its legacy.
And we have all the usual richness and goings-on in the literary landscape of Zürich and beyond in our regular events section: Making Tracks.
As always, if you have ideas or submissions for our next issue, the theme will be ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ …
See you on the other side of 2015!
Libby and Jill
Season of falling leaves and Wildsaison, bosky picnics, mushrooms and Knabenschiessen.
And, standing proud on a sunlit crag: The Woolf.
Award-winning journalist and author Juliana Barbassa talks about writing to understand displacement, Joan Didion, and the experience of relocating to Rio, Brazil, a city in crisis.
Long-time Zürich resident, writer and entrepreneur Susan Platt pays her respects to a much-loved and soon-to-be-departed Zürich institution: Orell Füssli The Bookshop.
DB Miller displaces Point-Of-View in her latest instalment of Notes from the Unexpected as she hands over the helm to Zürich’s ever-changing heart—the Zürisee.
In a short work of fiction, author Paul Knott contemplates the meaning of home through the eyes of an asylum-seeker.
Switzerland-based novelist Louise Mangos relives long, hot summer days in the south of France … and discusses the benefits of being displaced at a writing retreat.
JJ Marsh ponders displacement, memory, and the emotional importance of place.
Take yourself away and into the colourful chaos of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in Gallery I …
And experience the many nuances and moods of that great body of water in the Zürisee—in (gasp!) Gallery II.
Finally, squirrel away some autumnal dates with our regular page of goings-on for those in Zürich: Making Tracks.
See you in Zürich’s Old Town for roasted chestnuts.
Libby and Jill
If you’d like to contribute to the next edition of The Woolf—released into the wild in December (theme: Money)—contact us through our Editorial page.
In our Summer issue, we’re talking
In this issue:
Zürich writer, producer and director Samuel Schwarz on the feature film and Alternate Reality Games of Polder, the largest transmedia storytelling project to come out of Switzerland;
Historical fiction writer JD Smith on Tristan and Iseult, and the challenges and rewards of adapting myths and legends for the page;
DB Miller explores the magic of bringing acts to Zürich’s Kaufleuten stage, in the latest instalment of Notes from the Unexpected;
A colourful mix of fact and fiction, from Swiss urban and rural Alternate Reality Games, feature film stills, and Polder artwork in this issue’s Gallery;
The Woolf‘s resident scientist, Iida Ruishalme discusses whether her ideas of happiness have adapted to her life circumstances over time;
Environmental adaptation: contemplative prose from Zürich-based Canadian writer Sherida Deeprose, in Between the Acts;
Two Woolf readers talk about journeys of adaptation, growth and imagination, and the experience of having a foot in several cultural camps; and
We might look like we’re sleeping in the shade, but inside we’re Making Tracks: A taste of literary goings-on in the city of Zürich and beyond this Summer.
Have fun. Be good. Wear sunscreen.
Jill & Libby
There’s a whiff of something in the air.
Birdsong and blue sky, Fasnacht and Cervelat,
sunshine and the first crocus—
perfect partnerships and signs of Spring!
The alchemy of 1 + 1.
In this issue …
Ghostwriting … and the strange symbiosis of writing someone else’s story—Libby digs deep with Andrew Crofts.
Creativity in Tandem: Pete Morin and Susanne O’Leary are co-authors who’ve never met.
Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt are a married couple who write as a team, under pseudonym Lambert Nagle.
In the latest instalment of Notes from the Unexpected, D.B. Miller explores Herzbaracke and the duo whose passions float the boat.
Zürich-based photographer and scientific illustrator Martina Bisaz on Instagram collaborations, and a collection of her works in our Gallery.
Geneva-based poet Emily Bilman shares three evocative works in Between the Acts.
Plus all the regular goings-on in Zürich and beyond in Making Tracks, with springlike shenanigans to inspire you to shed your winter coat.
Have a bountiful spring and see you all in the summer for Adaptation …
Jill & Libby
Here in Switzerland, in Crans Montana, the old farmhouses are built on two levels: cattle below, humans above. The body heat rising from the cows keeps the humans warm.
A practical kind of plunder.
In this issue, we explore the nuances of robbery and rights, plagiarism and homage, borrowing, recreating and skimming.
Some of the heat The Woolf has generated this time, for all the upstairs, lucky creatures:
Switzerland’s Creative Commons representative, Phillippe Perreaux, on copyright and the public domain;
Author and New Yorker (and part time Geneva inhabitant) Susan Jane Gilman on plundering life for memoir and fiction;
Zürich based Architect Antonio Scarponi on publishing his book ELIOOO, crowd-funding, and architecture as concrete poetry; a selection of his works are featured in our Gallery;
Chris Corbett’s take on Tao Lin, a writer who raids and re-uses his life;
DB Miller’s regular Notes from the Unexpected, this time on LoRa, a radio station that does not conform;
JJ Marsh gives an overview of those grey areas between borrowing and theft (and some words of wisdom for writers);
Between the Acts: Geneva-based writer and poet Sue Le Mesurier interrogates ‘plunder’;
And, as always, all upcoming events, for Zürich and beyond this season, in Making Tracks.
Keep warm, and see you when the crocuses emerge for our next theme: Tandem.
Jill & Libby
Hello Literature Lovers!
Here in Zürich it’s Autumn, and it’s time for
The Measure of Success
In which a choice assortment of minds discuss
achievements, passion, creative freedom, longevity,
contributions, outside perspectives and what success means to them.
In this issue:
Bestselling Australian author, journalist, TV presenter, blogger and media consultant Sarah Wilson talks ebooks and pbooks, the online gift economy, and her writerly habits.
Irish-born visual artist Sandra Ondraschek-Norris discusses how the creative life can be important to our health, and whether we should talk about art … or let the works speak for themselves. Sandra’s paintings tell their own stories in The Gallery.
What does success mean to a writer? Is there value in intrinsic motivation? Kristen Coros explores, in Writing (and Revising) Success.
The latest instalment of Notes from the Unexpected finds DB Miller feeling the guitar love at Gitarren Total shopfront and workspace in Zürich.
Happy Birthday to The English Bookshop in Zürich! Celebrating 15 years this Autumn, Sabine Haarmann and Nick Schorp speak about how they did it … with a sneak peek at party plans.
Behind every great writer you’ll find … other writers. Kelly Jarosz provides seven tips for forming a successful critique group, and why you should.
And, as always, a selection of upcoming events in Zürich and beyond can be found in Making Tracks.
If you’d like to contribute any news, articles or fiction to the Winter issue (Theme: Plunder), feel free to contact us via our editorial page.
Now curl up by the fire … and roast those chestnuts.
Jill & Libby
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Hello literature lovers!
Summer is upon us, and our theme this season is
Not exploitation of others, but how creative minds exploit our obsessions, our language, our circumstances, our time, our opportunities …
- Photographer Olga Bushkova shares her obsessions and observations, along with her images in our Gallery.
- Iida Ruishalme explains how the space between languages is full of serendipity, ripe for a wordsmith’s shameless plundering.
- In DB Miller’s Notes from the Unexpected, Veit Stauffer provokes and entices by mixing old and new but always good music, at the iconic REC REC.
- Johanna Sargeant asks why the literature of exploitation appeals to us and the questions we should ask ourselves.
- Cultural assimilation is not always easy, but Chantal Panozzo turns the expat experience into a wryly observed adventure.
- Beginnings and opportunities: Meredith Wadley Suter reflects on the recent Fiction Writers’ Workshop in Zürich.
- The literary happenings and events in Zürich and beyond are all neatly wrapped up in Making Tracks.
And, as always, if you’d like to contribute any news, articles or fiction to the Autumn issue, themed The Measure of Success, feel free to contact us via our editorial page.
Exploit your summer to the max.