Letters to Iceland, with Rosita Boland & Selina Guinness

On of the most enjoyable writing ventures I’ve taken part in in recent years is ‘Letters to Iceland’, a round of letters exchanged between three friends inspired by and reflecting on the collaboration of Louis MacNeice and W.H. Auden. These Letters to Iceland were first presented publicly at the 5th NonFictioNOW conference, held at the University of Iceland, in Rejkjavik, in June 2017.

In 1937, W.H. Auden (b. York) and Louis MacNeice (b. Belfast), published their co-
authored Letters from Iceland, “the most unorthodox travel book ever written” (Daily
Mail). Less an account of their actual journey undertaken the previous year, than a mock-heroic model of collaborative practice, Auden describes Letters from Iceland as a ‘collage’ – ‘a form that’s large enough to swim in’. Playful in spirit and parodic in intention, these verse epistles, absurd tourist notes and personal correspondence combine to produce a non-fictional text that refracts the poets’ anxieties about the imminent collapse of Europe.

The full text of our ‘Letters to Iceland’, published Another Chicago Magazine, is here:



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