Welcome to the website for Lisa Tulfer – writer and blogger.
I have long thought that the two forms of writing I engage in – creative nonfiction and poetry – are two sides of the same coin. Like poetry, the nonfiction I write is about noticing things differently. Poetry is about precisely that – a good poem leaves the reader thinking “wow, I never looked at it like that before” and can weave magic around the most familiar and mundane subject. Creative nonfiction, I would suggest, has a similar role – to explore the homely as well as the exotic, looking with fresh eyes and an unexpected perspective, touching and listening and smelling and tasting, and telling the stories of people, places and objects with new voices.
Walk a little way north along Aldeburgh beach and you come to the Scallop, the controversial (and to my mind utterly brilliant) memorial to composer Benjamin Britten. Designed by Suffolk-based artist Maggi Hambling and made by local craftsmen Sam and Dennis Pegg, it was installed in 2003. Giant interlocking steel scallop shells create a sculpture which is both visually arresting – it dominates beach, sea and sky as you approach it – and tactile, positively encouraging you to sit on it to gaze out to sea. I have seen toddlers use it as a climbing frame, and the mother of a small child spread a towel under it to breastfeed in its shade on a sunny day. At sunset it glows, and the words from the opera Peter Grimes cut into its edge (“I hear those voices that will not be drowned”) are stencilled starkly against the sky. For me, a visit to Aldeburgh is unthinkable without going to pay my respects to the Scallop.
From Aldeburgh: voices that will not be drowned, The Pilgrim, Issue 5, June 2020