Tag Archives: writer in residence

Writer in Residence – Henry Fletcher

Henry is a nature facilitator and writer, and, over the past decade, has managed a trail project in Iceland’s Westfjords region. 

Through this project, he has co-authored a four-part creative guide, Wayfinding in the Westfjords. Imbued with practical advice, as well as story, poetry and ritual, the guide will deepen your relationship with both human and nonhuman counterparts as you walk historic trails along land and sea.

For more information and pre-sales: wayfinding.guide

Writer in Residence – Coline Marescaux

“ I believe that my relationship to poetry is animated by three energies which complete and nourish each other: a call from Childhood, the vertigo of a dialogue with the Unknown, language and body seeking together the infinite conjugation of Love. ”
Coline Marescaux defines herself as a poetic researcher.
She explores and creates singular poetic forms, that fit the spaces and the audiences it is addressed. 
She is currently working on the idea of a Poetic Body. Focus is placed on the spaces where poems resonate to create sensations, awake memories, and connect with people. 
The Poetic Body is a search, a quest for a link between the poem’s body and the spectator. 
Coline Marescaux seeks the reflection and the echo of her words in the Icelandic landscapes. She explores an unknown and fertile ground in which her poems could find a way. 
She is currently writing her first collection and her next show: Oh feu ma terre! (Oh my fire land!)


I had a clear intention for my time at NES—and was surprised by the opposite direction my work took this summer. New synapsis in my brain seemed to happen. New forms of expression. I am a PhD researcher and writer @Aberystwyth University in Wales, and former Fulbright Fellow in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I stepped away from my academic work in literature this summer to focus on a new project. I created The Foss and Moss Puppet Theatre to support the epic absurdist poem I have started writing. I cultivated stanzas by utilizing textiles from the natural world, such as Icelandic wool roving, to create individual characters who represent surrealist ideas about what it is to exist as a human in a meaningless/meaningful world. Through this practice as research and the use of interdisciplinary modes of expression, I was able to generate new creative impulses in my writing. The intense natural environment of Iceland, the mountains, sea, wind, arctic terns, sheep, unseen elemental beings, and the opposing force—the human being—was fertile ground for a delve into existential questions for my Puppet Theatre of the Absurd Poetry Project. I also began to read and study the fiction of Icelandic writer, Sjón, who inspired me immensely, as well as the poems of Gerður Kristný. I have been deeply moved by the imaginative landscape, both in Icelandic literature, as well as out the door on foot, miles and miles of wide expanse. 

Rehearsal performance with soprano Kelley McKenna and pianist Galina Dimova-Georgieva

Side event: I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow artists for one week on a concert, where, besides reading from my book, Firewalking, I performed two pieces musical theatre pieces—one dramatic, one joyful. I was trained as a soprano and performed for many years but had not done so in more than almost two decades. So, I was thrilled to work together, especially with Galina Dimova Georgieva, the gorgeous classical pianist and composer from Cyprus.  https://kelleymckenna.com


I’m a dutch novelist and poet. The novel I published in 2014, As a tiger, as a snake, is told by a poem. In Skagaströnd I worked on a novel about a dutch sailor who’s buried in the Arctic in the 16th century and who’s now, while the permafrost is melting, waking up.  The image is of the cover of a book that will be published in September, about my morning talks with a crow.


I came to NES to complete a draft of my book, The Principle of the Fragility of Good Things, an investigation into my obsession with plane crashes following an engine explosion and subsequent emergency landing. That obsession led me to the most comprehensive “fear of flying” clinic in the world, to a series of large-scale air disaster drills in which I participated as a “professional survivor,” and ultimately to the National Transportation Safety Board’s training center, where I trained to investigate Survival Factors in Aviation Accidents, and where at long last I beheld the reconstructed fuselage of TWA Flight 800, the Paris-bound 747 that exploded after takeoff over Long Island Sound in 1996.

The mysteries surrounding that disaster (the FBI believed the plane was sabotaged; the chief metallurgist believed the cause was mechanical; eyewitnesses saw a “ball of light” hit the plane) make it the centerpiece–and the ostensible subject–of my obsession. After spending the past three months in Iceland, I am nearing the completion of a long leg of a journey that has asked me to accept a world that is neither scientifically ordered (as my mathematical side tells me), nor cosmically chaotic (as my new-age mantras tell me) but sublime in its random logic.


Writer in Residence – Andra Watkins

New York Times bestselling author Andra Watkins writes about immortality. Her three novels weave afterlife stories for real people from history who died mysteriously.

Not Without My Father, her NYT bestselling memoir, challenges readers to make memories with people who matter. The memories we make live on in the hearts of those we leave behind and become our means of immortality.

At NES, Andra is finalizing her fourth novel. The Evangelicals is drawn from her experiences growing up in a right-wing evangelical church. It examines the noxious brew of toxic religion and extremist politics in the United States.

website: andrawatkins.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrawatkins/
Videos of public talks: https://vimeo.com/242116061
YouTube channel with daily outtakes from my walk of the ancient Natchez Trace: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUTnvE5s52wM6bKcC3BRNMQ
Link to all the places one can purchase my books: andrawatkins.com/books/


WRITER IN RESIDENCE – Sonja Sophie Kreis is a writer and artist from Switzerland, where she also works as a lecturer for art and art history. Her writing is very much inspired by art. She writes novels, but also experimental texts and texts about art. Her last book – KEIN SCHNEE IN VENEDIG/ NO SNOW IN VENICE – was published in Spring 2019 by edition pudelundpinscher.

Currently she is working on a novel with the title THE BIG ICE, inspired by a painting from the Swiss artist Adolf Dietrich (1877 – 1959), that shows the frozen Lake of Constance in the 1940’s. Today there is no more ice and snow at that place, so Sonja Sophie Kreis does some research in the winter landscapes of the north.

Last winter she spent some time in Greenland and now, in february 2020, she is experiencing the extreme weathers of Skagaströnd, writing in a room in the wonderful Salthuis, while observing the rapidly changing sceneries over the sea. It is a wonderfully inspiring place for someone interested in snow and ice in all possible forms and colors.



Writer in Residence – Indigo Perry

Indigo Perry is a writer and artist from near Melbourne, Australia. She is a Senior Lecturer in Writing & Literature in the School of Communication & Creative Arts at Deakin University. She writes memoir in poetic, experimental forms. Her first book, Midnight Water (Picador) was shortlisted for Australia’s National Biography Award. Her second book, Darkfall (University of Western Australia Publishing) is due for release in April 2020.

At NES, Indigo is working on her third book, Midnight Fire. It’s a memoir about the profound effects of grief. Since she has been at NES, and after seeing the phenomenon of iridescent  nacreous clouds (glitsky), she has become interested in diffraction: the bending of light around objects. This is influencing her imagery and form in writing. She has also been inspired by the stormy weather, the changing skies, the rhythms of the wind and by Icelandic music during her residency. 

Indigo also writes live in performance as part of a performance art duo called Illuminous. In that work, her writing is digitally projected over herself and her collaborator in a performance space as they improvise live.

At NES, Indigo has carried out a series of text projection experiments with another artist, Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell. Some of those experiments in the NES studio and at the Skagastrond swimming pool are shown in the images below, along with some fragments of writing from Midnight Fire