About

“A mile of writing. What patience it would take. What nerve. To be a woman in middle age, taking up space, claiming attention. Making an exhibition of myself. What Mother said I must never, ever do. Beyond the pale. Outside the fenced enclosure; into disrepute. Could it be done? What might it do to my life if I tried?”

The Cure For Sleep: a late-waking life

Tanya Shadrick’s memoir The Cure for Sleep – the story of a life changed forever by sudden near-death – will be published in January 2022 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and can be pre-ordered now.

As founder of The Selkie Press, Tanya is editor of Wild Woman Swimming – a journal of west country waters longlisted for the 2019 Wainwright Prize: a book she promised to make after a single meeting with its dying author, Lynne Roper.

Writer-in-Residence
Jan Michalski Foundation, Switzerland (2017)

A former hospice lifestory scribe, Tanya embarked on her first public work after forty with The Wild Patience Scrolls (2016-7)a mile of writing composed pen on paper beside England’s oldest outdoor pool. Since then, she has been a writer-in-residence at many other extraordinary locations, including the Jan Michalski Foundation in Switzerland and Virginia Woolf’s garden on the Sussex Downs.

All of Tanya’s work seeks to call forth creative responses in others – a practice which earned her Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in 2018.

You can listen to Tanya in conversation with her mentor, sculptor David Nash, in the BBC Radio 4 show Pursuit of Beauty: a celebration of slow art which features their respective long-term works, The Wild Patience Scrolls and the forty-year old living sculpture Ash Dome.

What People Say

“Tanya creates intriguing space in public places where the curious find themselves engaging in a writer’s practice and volunteering their own stories to be woven into her work.”

Sculptor David Nash

“Tanya has that very rare combination of stillness and energy. Her stories captivated me instantly”

Agent Robert Caskie

“Tanya is an electrifying voice and her book reminds me of the very best memoirs – Joan Didion’s writing, Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood…”

Editor Lettice Franklin
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