Episodes

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01Poo Fairy By Max Porter20210322Five writers on how a year of lockdowns has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep. This is nature writing for the ordinary, overlooked and not-so-great outdoors close to home.

What happens to nature writing when our access to the great outdoors becomes restricted? We asked writers to reflect on their personal experience of the past year and tell us about their small journeys into the outside world. Those patches of ground, water and sky close at hand which somehow seem more precious now that our access to the outdoors has become so strictly rationed. In episode one, Max Porter takes his three sons to the local park for a daily kick-around.

Max Porter is the author of Lanny, longlisted for the Booker Prize, and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. His most recent book, The Death of Francis Bacon, was published in January 2021. He is the recipient of the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award. Max lives in Bath with his family.

Produced by Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol. Read by the author, with original music by Nina Perry.

Writers on how lockdown has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep.

A nature writing series for a time where none of us can venture far from home.

02Speckled Wood By Kerri Ned Dochartaigh20210323Five writers on how a year of lockdowns has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep. This is nature writing for the ordinary, overlooked and not-so-great outdoors close to home.

What happens to nature writing when our access to the great outdoors becomes restricted? We asked writers to reflect on their personal experience of the past year and tell us about their small journeys into the outside world. Those patches of ground, water and sky close at hand which somehow seem more precious now that our access to the outdoors has become so strictly rationed. In episode two, Kerri ní Dochartaigh, maps the short walks she made through the bog near her home in a remote part of central Ireland. The landscape there sustained her through months of isolation but one day was nearly the end of her.

Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in 1983, in Derry-Londonderry at the border between the North and South of Ireland. She read English Literature and Classical Civilisation at Trinity College Dublin and trained as a Waldorf teacher in Edinburgh. She taught in Edinburgh and Bristol, before returning to Ireland in her early thirties. She writes about nature, literature and place for the Irish Times, Dublin Review of Books, Caught by the River and others. She now lives in a railway cottage in the very heart of Ireland. Thin Places is her first book.

Produced by Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol. Read by the author, with original music by Nina Perry.

Writers on how lockdown has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep.

A nature writing series for a time where none of us can venture far from home.

03By The Water By Caleb Azumah Nelson20210324Five writers on how a year of lockdowns has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep. This is nature writing for the ordinary, overlooked and not-so-great outdoors close to home.

What happens to nature writing when our access to the great outdoors becomes restricted? We asked writers to reflect on their personal experience of the past year and tell us about their small journeys into the outside world. Those patches of ground, water and sky close at hand which somehow seem more precious now that our access to the outdoors has become so strictly rationed.

Caleb Azumah Nelson is a British-Ghanaian writer and photographer living in South East London. His writing has been published in Litro, Granta and The White Review. He was named by ‘The Observer' as one of the 10 best debut novelists of the year, for his book Open Water. He was also shortlisted for the 2020 BBC National Short Story Prize.

Produced by Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol. Read by the author, with original music by Nina Perry.

Writers on how lockdown has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep.

A nature writing series for a time where none of us can venture far from home.

04Life, Still By Amanda Thomson20210325Five writers on how a year of lockdowns has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep. This is nature writing for the ordinary, overlooked and not-so-great outdoors close to home.

What happens to nature writing when our access to the great outdoors becomes restricted? We asked writers to reflect on their personal experience of the past year and tell us about their small journeys into the outside world. Those patches of ground, water and sky close at hand which somehow seem more precious now that our access to the outdoors has become so strictly rationed. In episode four, the artist and writer Amanda Thomson records the natural year unfolding around her Highlands home, which forms a jarring disconnect with the news cycle drifting in from the world beyond. Parts of this piece had their origin in another essay, 'Still, Life', which was commissioned by the Willowherb Review for the Aerial Festival.

Amanda Thomson is a visual artist and writer who is also a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art. Originally trained as a printmaker, her interdisciplinary work is often about notions of home, movements, migrations, landscapes and the natural world and how places come to be made. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and her writing has appeared in The Willowherb Review, Gutter and the anthology Antlers of Water, Writing on the Nature and Environment of Scotland, edited by Kathleen Jamie. She lives and works in Strathspey in the Scottish Highlands, and Glasgow. Her first book, A Scots Dictionary of Nature, is published by Saraband Books; and a collaboration with Elizabeth Reeder, microbursts, a collection of lyric and intermedial essays, is published by Prototype Publishing in February 2021.

Produced by Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol. Read by the author, with original music by Nina Perry.

Writers on how lockdown has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep.

A nature writing series for a time where none of us can venture far from home.

05Troopers Hill By Michael Malay2021032620210409 (R4)Five writers on how a year of lockdowns has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep. This is nature writing for the ordinary, overlooked and not-so-great outdoors close to home.

What happens to nature writing when our access to the great outdoors becomes restricted? We asked writers to reflect on their personal experience of the past year and tell us about their small journeys into the outside world. Those patches of ground, water and sky close at hand which somehow seem more precious now that our access to the outdoors has become so strictly rationed. In episode five, writer Michael Malay takes us to the nature reserve in his East Bristol neighborhood.

Michael Malay is a lecturer in English literature and the environmental humanities at the University of Bristol. He has published articles on poetry, critical theory and animal studies, as well as creative non-fiction on eels, migration and climate change. He is currently working on a book called Late Light, which is about the lives of unloved or disregarded animals on the brink of extinction.

Produced by Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas for BBC Audio in Bristol. Read by the author, with original music by Nina Perry.

Writers on how lockdown has changed their relationship with the nature on their doorstep.

A nature writing series for a time where none of us can venture far from home.