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2020092020200926 (R4)Barrow poet Kate Davis faces her chronic claustrophobia, and legacy of childhood polio to go pot holing, experiencing first-hand the subterranean world that’s fired her literary imagination.

In her poetry memory and reality are blurred, but one theme is clear to her, the ground is not to be trusted.

For Kate the earth can give way at any time and trip her up, and the porous limestone landscape of upland Britain, is as dangerous and fascinating as an army obstacle course.

Luckily, in theatre director Rachel Ashton - fell-runner and potholer - she’s a friend who vicariously lives out her poetic fantasies of slimy tunnels, and belaying down precipitate drops.

Kate’s poems ring out with the sound of Rachel’s potholing vocabulary - choke, sump and avon, are as familiar to her as the caving maps that she lends her.

Up until now its been an alien world as remote, and unreachable as the far side of the moon. But Rachel has a plan, to take Kate on her first assisted journey into a cave near Ingleton. It’s here that Wordsworth and Turner experienced the thrill of the sublime.... but will Kate overcome her fear of cold dark confined spaces, and sense for herself the weight of rock, words, and memories above her?

Produced by Andrew Carter.

Barrow poet Kate Davis faces her chronic claustrophobia and polio to go potholing.

Barrow poet Kate Davis faces her chronic claustrophobia and polio to go potholing.