“Topaz Winters’ work is a searching in the dark for the bright soul of the self. It is wading through the memories of heartbreak and held hands. It is a city light by a train stop flickering in time with your breath. It is reclaiming. It is this body alive, now, and fully yours again.” —Kara Goughnour, writer & documentarian
Oh hello. It is so good to meet you.
I am a story-spinner for souls with one foot in the street & another in the milky way, souls with dawn-filled lungs, warm & numinous, the softest kind of wound. I make art to remind you what it means to sing back to the thunder.
I was born in the autumn of 1999. I am from Singapore but currently I live in New Jersey. I collect words & miracles, & quietly make beautiful things. Sometimes people mistake me for a ghost. There is a soft & persistent mumbling in my head, so I write it down.
Here are some of the kind words readers have used to describe my work: “incredibly hollowing”, “delicate yet devastating”, “intimate, truthful, and compelling”, "luminous ... the burning and the light", & “haunted with such hope, nerve and tenderness that break the heart open”. If you might be interested in experiencing more of it, you can receive my love letters here, or support my work here. If you’d like to interview me, write about the work I do, or invite me to speak at your event, this is the place. You might have seen me before in lovely places like this:
I care a great deal about the act of creation. I cannot think straight when I’m not making, so I make & make & make. I make things like books. & magazines. & films. & TEDx talks. & digital art installations. & podcasts. & scholarly papers. & other lovelies. Sometimes said lovelies win awards, which pleases & shocks & terrifies & delights me.
Welcome. This is my online home, another one of my creations.
It is called A Clock That Follows the Shadows of Cats & it is a collection of keepsakes—of warmth, of memory, of resilience, of language & heritage, of love & rebellion, of softness & savagery, of all the things that ache & bend & swell & soar & crash & sing & dream me back into being. Poems. Essays. Music. Films. The kind of art that makes one’s soul feel whole in a way that defies words.
This is rather ironic, because my heart belongs first & foremost to words, in any & all of their forms. Tucked into the margins of books, graffitied on brick walls, scrawled on coffee-stained napkins, wrung out of sleepless nights: I have the tendency to hoard them & mould them into faerytales & nightmares & the secret grey spaces in between. They have brought me through many a fog. I hope my words might bring you through the same.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, someone told me I should give up, & this is a large part of the reason why I never have. Sometimes I am soft as star-stuff & other times I am stubborn as stormclouds. I am learning how to wield both with care.
Chai lattes. Poetry & the people who enjoy it. LP records. The moon. Arthouse films. The syntax of the body. A very large stack of books. Crushed sage. Taking the long way home. Paper ephemera. Astrology. Ballet. Feminism. Well-kept secrets. The sea, the sea, the sea. Love letters. Wildflowers. Cobblestones. Museums. Iced coffee. Jazz, classical, indie, all kinds of music. Rain as baptism. Raspberries. Oversized sweaters. Art museums. Oxford commas. The anatomy of healing—
these are my first loves. They are the sorts of things I hope to share with you.
Hello, dear visitor.
My name is Topaz Winters. I am a girl with raven hair & a sestina soul.
I believe in tenderness as a revolution. I believe in art as a method of survival. I believe in girlhood as wolfhood. I believe that in this dark world we live in, we must be lighthouses for each other. I hope my art can be a lighthouse for you.
Please imagine me taking your hand (though, a fair warning—mine are rather cold) & looking you in the eye & saying these words to you:
thank you for being here. I think the universe is a more radiant place for that.