Exercises for a Nature Writer

Notes for a Nature Writer by Tanya Shadrick

The urge to observe and write about the outdoors has come up through every setting & circumstance of my life. Even when chronic pain and the care of small children have kept me house- and town-bound, I have still made notes on birds, weeds and wildflowers. And yet my finest times are when I can – for a while – rise early, range widely. This written from that, as a keepsafe for times when my world slows & shrinks again.

I am a writer not a poet. These thoughts only have this shape now because I wanted to extend my relationship with a poem by Wendell Berry that has great importance to how I write and why: How to be a Poet (to remind myself). If this by me sends even a few readers onwards to discover that, then this apprentice piece of mine will have earned its keep.

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