Four Words Whispered on a Smoky Field by Baņuta Rubess
Baņuta Rubess’s “Four Words Whispered on a Smoky Field” is the third-place winner of the 2023 CRAFT Hybrid Writing Contest, guest judged by Nicole McCarthy.
“Four Words Whispered on a Smoky Field” pushes genre boundaries as it attempts to excavate troubling family history. The narrator traces the footsteps of their father, a prisoner of war during World War II, and takes the reader along through visual routes, maps, historical records, and photos. History, as the narrator shows, is an inescapable part of the land—multilayered—encountering a field of sheep grazing on grass that was once seeped with slaughter. This pilgrimage draws back the curtain on a singular experience of war and the lengths some will go in order to survive. It is a chilling, courageous investigation that benefits from its hybridity. —Nicole McCarthy
BAŅUTA RUBESS pioneered feminist theatre and contemporary opera to national renown in Canada and Latvia. She has lived in four countries and writes in two languages. She has written plays, libretti, radio drama, television biopics, stories, and has devised site-specific productions for a beach and a mansion. She has been nominated for many awards and has won a few, including Best Play, Best Director, and Best Short Story. Her writing is published in Aesthetica (UK), Creative Nonfiction (US), and Domuzīme (Latvia). Baņuta lives in Toronto and is writing a memoir about the personal cost of surveillance. Follow her voracious reading habits on Funny, You Don’t Look Bookish. Find her on Twitter @banuta or Instagram @labagne.
Featured image by Kristaps Ungurs, courtesy of Unsplash.