Internationale Poetry-Biennale  -  Filmfestival  -  Salon  -  Netzwerk

Samstag, 5. November, 22 Uhr


Nancy Campbell
(Schottland / Scotland)

Nancy Campbell schreibt Gedichte, Essays und Sachbücher. Eine Reihe von Residencies bei arktischen Forschungseinrichtungen zwischen 2010 und 2017 führte zu Büchern wie z.B. The Library of Ice, das auf der Longlist des Rathbones Folio Prize 2019 stand. Neue erscheinen Thunderstone im August 2022 und der Gedichtband Uneasy Pieces Ende 2022 bei Guillemot Press.

Sie widmet sich der Entwicklung innovativer Projekte, Umweltthemen stehen dabei meist im Vordergrund, wie z. B. bei der interaktiven Live-Literaturveranstaltung The Polar Tombola. Neben vielen anderen Auszeichnungen erhielt sie den renommierten Royal Geographical Society Ness Award 2020 für einen jahrzehntelange kreativen Umgang mit Themen zur arktischen Umwelt.

Nancy Campbell is a Scottish writer whose work has been commissioned by the Royal Academy, the British Library and the BBC and, most recently, lyrics for a Songbook of Rare Feelings performed by Ensemble VONK in the Netherlands.

Nancy was appointed the UK’s Canal Laureate in 2018, generating poems and mixed media collaborations around the waterways, and in 2020 she received the prestigious Royal Geographical Society Ness Award for a decade-long creative response to the Arctic environment.

She is author of the international best-seller Fifty Words for Snow (published in German by Hoffmann and Campe), and the poetry books Disko Bay, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, Navigations, Uneasy Pieces and How to Say “I Love You“ in Greenlandic.

Foto Annie-Schlechter



Be happyCause no harm. Fall in love.
—typewritten memo pinned to a front door in Maxvorstadt

Even in this landlocked city, where bullet-marks not yet a century old pit the walls of university buildings—far, / far from the blue shores on postcards pinned up in your flat near the Pinakothek, far from those slow rollers—yes, even here / you’ll find a cold bore running beneath the ring road along which trams are even now shuddering, yes: a wave / surges from under the bridge, and another, the water will never stop flowing, flows / full as thunder through the same low arches, curve and lull / washing over the same shallow rocks, always the same rocks / never the same wave. The surfboard pearls under a crest and the student seems to walk / on water, crouching and twisting her neoprene torso—listening to instinct, not turning tricks. / The trick is stay on the deck, by not trying to stay on the deck / to stay with the wave by making the stance stronger,adjusting an inch instead of resisting, on / and on, carving from one bank to another and it is / impossible to tell whether surfer follows board or / board wave, or wave surfer, and whether a surfer / creates the spray or chases it / as white petals fall from the shadows / over the river. Until the tumble / a wipeout in green swell and summer thunder / distant as gunfire. The water / whirls away. Fall bravely. Be happy. //


I like to stay in and watch. Often I wake in the night to a static silence, a slow muffled note and I know they’ll be there when I go to the window / dancing, or I’m sitting with a glass of milk as snow falls outside, a long time after I’ve come in from the snow, sometimes milk or sometimes / whisky, I feel their uneasy moves before I see them. They know I’m watching. They are dancing / for me. Lefteris is different. He likes to drive out of town / always believes things will be better elsewhere, after all that’s why he’s here, believes we will be closer to them on the other side of the mountain. // One time he took Asta’s car and he’s calling for me under my window, I put my glass down and hurry on with my boots again, don’t even button my coat / we drive along the fjord through the tunnel in the rock out to the deserted valley on the other side with the long name no one remembers and where the road drops off the cliff into darkness he stops / just in time. A bird stirs against the stone ledge as we lie back on the ticking bonnet looking upwards and waiting and waiting and I want to go back home to my glass of milk and my bed / but some people just want to lose themselves in beauty, as if beauty can’t exist until you have burnt up in it. / On the drive home Lefteris switches off the headlights he sees the stars and not the road. //