“Letters to Iceland” by Selina Guinness, Rosita Boland, and Colin Graham

Delighted to see this shared project reflecting on writing, politics, travel, and history published in Another Chicago magazine this month.

Another Chicago Magazine

iceland me cloudsy Photo: S.L. Wisenberg

Preface

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 following exchange of letters among three Irish writers and friends seeks to remodel, and reflect on, the conditions of this collaboration. These Letters to Iceland were first presented publicly at the 5th NonFictioNOW conference, held at the University of Iceland, in Rejkjavik, in June 2017.

Introduction –…

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