/ 31 October 2023

Versopolis Podcast #9: Poetry Communities

Emma Woodford & Katja Knežević

Poetry communities have played a vital role in the cultural and artistic development of societies throughout history. Modern poetry communities of the 20th century like The Harlem Renaissance and The Beatniks used poetry to express countercultural and anti-establishment sentiments. Today, online poetry communities and social media platforms have democratized poetry, allowing poets to reach broader audiences and receive instant feedback. The Wordcraft Collective is a community of Brussels-based authors writing in English. It is a place for poets, novelists and storytellers, for everyone with a creative spark and an itch to compose with language. In this episode, Dr Mitja Drab hosts its two co-founders, poets Emma Woodford and Katja Knežević.

Emma Woodford is a Belgian/Brit who is passionate about reading and writing poetry, finding communities of poets and hosting the occasional poetry workshop. She is a Gingko Environmental Prize runner up and has been published in online journals such as Quarter(ly) and Academy of the Heart and Mind. In addition to be a Wordcraft Collective co-founder, Emma is an active member of Poets for the Planet and often writes nature poems as well as poetry about family, travel and belonging/not belonging. She lives in Flanders with her Dutch/Belgian family and works in Brussels.

Katja Knežević is an award-winning poet and short story writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English and French literature. In 2012, she won the Sea of Words literary competition organised by IEMed and the Anna Lindh Foundation with her short story, Invisible mother. In 2014 she won the Croatian national award, Goran for young poets within the festival Goran’s spring, with the manuscript Staklene breze (Birches made of glass). The collection was subsequently published in April 2015. She writes in English and Croatian. Her poetry and prose have appeared in anthologies such as 2019 Brussels Writers’ Circle and So Long as You Write, as well as literary magazines Tether’s End, Thimble, Popshot Magazine and Molecule Lit Mag.