First Language(s): Swiss German
Second Language(s): English, French
Natalie Bühler is an emerging writer living on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. She hails from Switzerland, studied in Germany and has worked in cultural institutions across multiple continents. She is a volunteer at the Sydney-based poetry organisation Red Room Poetry and incorporates her native Swiss German, which does not have a standardised written form, into her English writing.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I read so much as a child that I can now barely remember which books I liked best, but I do know I was particularly fond of Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, both for its clever and often lyrical prose and ability to escalate an absurdist narrative without losing the plot. I read them all in translation and would love to come back and read the originals in English one day.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
Writing came very naturally to me — my very first ‘novella’ was a painstakingly hand-typed 8-pager about a pony-kidnapping professor seeking world domination when I was 5. I came to poetry much later, initially as an exercise to overcome writer’s block when trying to write fiction. It then revealed itself as an enormously powerful tool to explore the complex feelings that living in foreign cultures and places have left me with, especially in the past two years. In this time, reading, writing, and working with poetry has very much been the invisible thread that has connected me to people all across Australia and allowed me to grow my first tender roots in my new country.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
Moving between three continents in the span of a month — and that month being March 2020.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I tend to prefer silence when doing either, though I’m not opposed to the purring of my cat as background noise for a writing session.
Issue Spring '22