International exchanges

Cafe Töwerland on Storgatan was an ideal venue for writers and At The Fringe- International Arts Festival, Tranås to connect with each other for Young Writers Brunch. Enjoying fika together we had the opportunity to find out more from Ullias Berglund and Joanna Hellström about their sources of inspiration and writing for their poetry and fiction, as well hear about their writing processes. An exciting moment in the brunch was when Ullias and Joanna took a call from Geoff Haden, curator of Dylan Thomas’ birthplace in Swansea, Wales. Geoff was able to offer his congratulations and warm encouragement to our two award winning young Swedish writers, and share ideas for future connections.

As writers we often draw ideas from other poets, novelists and storytellers; we need to share our skills and perspectives with each other to grow and develop our voice and craft. One of the greatest gifts we can offer each other is to share back a piece inspired by another writer. We listened to Joanna and Ullias read some of their work and I asked the audience to write in response to any line they were drawn to. Carl Sjögren is a new member of YWL from Vetlanda, working with Swedish writer Elisabeth Westlund. Carl was drawn to a phrase from Joanna’s piece of fiction: “Leaving already”.

His response, written within a few minutes, was:

“Leaving already, yes he did.

He continued along the path, not looking back. There was a feeling of loneliness in the air.

A cold wind stroke her cheek, right as she started to miss him already”

Following one their many radio interviews Joanna and Ullias were delighted to hear how their own work had inspired some brief work written by audience members. It was a joy to connect through our wide range of creative impulses and to show our respect for the work of Ullias Berglund and Joanna Hellström.

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