Writing & Engagement

2018

Editor: Wild Woman Swimming. The collected work of the late wild swimming expert and nature writer Lynne Roper: a swimmer’s eye view of the West Country that will be a worthy companion to Roger Deakin’s classic Waterlog.

2017 (Dec)

Reading: Taking part in the BookFest panel at the Outdoor Swimming Society’s annual December Dip event at Parliament Hill Lido, alongside authors Jenny Landreth (Swell), Alexandra Heminsley (Leap In) and Joe Minihane (Floating).

2017 (Nov)

Readings: Speaking at the Kendal Mountain Festival on the life & swim diaries of late wild swimmer Lynne Roper as part of the Outdoor Swimming Society programme; Reading from Watermarks in a standalone session for the Literary Festival.

2017 (Aug & Sept)

Residency: Writer-in-Residence – Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature. Awarded an inaugural-year stay at this world-class institute for writing to complete the Wild Patience Scrolls and locate them in a wider European context.

2017 (July)

Film: Wild Patience/Let’s Fish. Narrator and subject of a short film to support the Canal & River Trust’s new Let’s Fish campaign. Directed by Jo Keeling of Ernest Journal/Smoke Creatives.

2017 (July)

Interview: Outdoor Swimmer Magazine. Interviewed by Ella Chloe Foote for her ongoing series of ‘swimterviews’, which has included Alexandra Heminsley (of Leap In) and Gillian Best, author of The Last Wave.

2017 (June)

Story: Oh Comely Magazine, ‘A Lost Sheep’. For the Touch issue, a true fairytale of desire and disgust set in the deep Devon countryside.

Feature: Outdoor Swimming Society, ‘Thurlestone Rock’. Introducing an extract from the Watermarks anthology written by the Lynne Roper, prefaced with the story of how Lynne and I met.

2017 (May)

Editor: Watermarks: New Writing by Lido Lovers & Wild Swimmers (The Frogmore Press): Number 2 best-seller in Amazon poetry anthologies in its first fortnight; 2nd edition has reached number 3 position. Awarded ‘recommended’ status by The Outdoor Swimming Society’.

Prize: The Slow Time of Accidents, Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. Received a Special Mention for this account of my near-death and the first days after coma.

Performance: Brighton Museum, ‘Written in Water’ – Sat 6 May: Writer-in-residence at Brighton Museum during this one-day Free for the Festival event hosted by The Frogmore Press.

Feature: Outdoor Swimming Society, ‘A Wild Patience: Laps in Longhand’. My poolside mile of writing at Pells Pool and the depths it has sounded in the lives of others.

2017 (April)

Essay: Rake’s Progress, ‘Putting Down Roots’. How stewardship of a communal space made me into an accidental artist. Accompanied by an original drawing from the sculptor David Nash (‘Wounded Chestnut, Baxter’s Field’).

2017 (Mar)

Story: The Simple Things Magazine, ‘Romance of Maintenance’. Piece on beautiful routine and becoming stronger in the broken places. [The title comes from Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn: A foundational text for me since undergraduate days.]

2016 (Nov)

Reading/Lecture: University of Sussex, ‘Diaries of the Outside: The urban journals of Annie Ernaux & Tanya Shadrick’s Wild Patience Scrolls. A joint Centre for Life History & Life Writing and Sussex Centre for Language Studies event with Prof Lyn Thomas, introducing the concept of the ‘journal extime’ as pioneered by the prize-winning Ernaux, and now extended further by my use of writing as a public performance.

2016 (Sept)

Talk: Unpsychology Magazine, Brighton launch, ‘Spirit of Place: Building soul & making art in the Here and Now’

Talk: National Lido Conference, ‘Libraries & life-stories: lo-fi ways to create a sense of place and belonging’

Talk: Magazine Brighton, ‘Fear of the blank page  to a mile of longhand: how to build a lasting artist’s practice’ 

2016 (Aug)

Feature: Oh Comely Magazine, ‘Laps in Longhand’. Commissioned essay on influences of ancient Japanese haiku writers such as Basho and Kenko in my Wild Patience project, with 5-page photo feature.

2016 (June)

Illustrated short story: Unpsychology Magazine, ‘The Weather House’.

2016/17

Residency: Pells Pool, Lewes, Writer-in-Residence. Embarked on Wild Patience: Laps in Longhand, a public mile of writing on lido- length scrolls. Gained wide and positive press coverage.

2015 (Dec)

Reading: True Tales from the Old Hill (The Frogmore Press): ‘The End is No End’: My account of a birth, death and near-death opened this collection of ‘exceptional new life writing’.

2015 (Oct)

Reading: New Pathways: Psychogeographies of Lewes (REFRAME): ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’; ‘Song of Ourselves’; ‘There Are No Unsacred Places’.

2010 to 2014

Hospice life-story scribe (St Peter & St James Hospice). Developed this service following a near-death experience.