Why does nature continue to inspire and fascinate both readers and writers? John Burnside, Paul Farley, Ruth Padel and Jean Sprackland, all acclaimed writers and poets whose work draws on the natural world, discuss the enduring link between nature and the written word.
John Burnside’s collection, Black Cat Bone, won both the Forward and TS Eliot Prizes for 2012. His most recent poetry collection is All One Breath. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews, but is currently a DAAD fellow in Berlin, where he is working on a new novel.
Paul Farley’s work includes: The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award and a Forward Prize in 1998); The Ice Age (winner of the 2002 Whitbread Poetry Prize); and Tramp in Flames (short-listed for the International Griffin Poetry Prize in 2007 and the TS Eliot Prize). His most recent collection is The Dark Film. Edgelands (co-authored with Michael Symmons Roberts) was awarded the Foyles/Bristol Festival of Ideas Best Book of Ideas 2012.
Ruth Padel is an award-winning poet, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Poetry Fellow at King’s College London. She has published ten poetry collections, most recently Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth. She has also published a novel on wildlife crime and a wide range of non-fiction. Among her awards are First Prize in the National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award for poetry, and a British Council Darwin Now research award.
Jean Sprackland‘s most recent collection of poems is Sleeping Keys (2013). Tilt won the Costa Poetry Award 2007, Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach won the Portico Prize for Non-Fiction in 2012 and her books have also been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, TS Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Award. She is Academic Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Ticket prices: £7.00 full / £6.00 concessions. Special offer: get tickets for Writers and the Natural World, What Nature Does For Britain (at 15:30) and H For Hawk (at 14:00) for £15.00 full / £13.00 concessions. Buy this special offer online.
Image credit: Paul Farley by Jemimah Kuhfeld