Festival: For Vicarious Festival – a celebration of cultural diversity through travel literature and photography – I will be speaking and leading workshops on being alert to chance and connection in place, both in our local spaces and those to which we arrive as guests or strangers.
Residency: First writer-in-residence at Charlotte Island, Ontario – guest of former hospice doctors.
Residency: Monk’s House National Trust. At this one-day residency for National Writing Day, I will be in Virginia Woolf’s garden at Rodmell, Sussex. Date and details to follow in early 2020. (Resident there for the 2019 day, I was profiled by the organisation in their ‘Writing Place’ series).
Collaboration: REWILDING THE WORD-HOARD, with sculptor Jo Sweeting and writer Louisa Thomsen Brits (other poets and artists to be confirmed). In residence on the beach at Bucks Mills and in the cliffside National Trust Artists’ Cabin.
Book: Signed by agent Robert Caskie at Caskie Mushens for The Cure For Sleep – memoir of a late-waking writing life.
2019 (August to October)
Collaboration: FOUNDLE, with sculptor Jo Sweeting and writer Louisa Thomsen Brits. Sussex dialect words carved onto a found erratic limestone boulder on the South Downs Way, inviting connection with those who encounter us at work. A three-part essay is being created alongside our work for publication in 2020 by Little Toller’s online journal The Clearing.
Festival: I spoke on Wild Woman Swimming as part of the new Between the Tides swim-lit festival at Whitstable.
Residency: First writer-in-residence at La Chanterie, a new writer/artist programme based in a small chalet at the End of the World – a wild valley in the French Alps where France, Italy and Switzerland meet.
Residency: Wealden Literature Festival. As writer-in-residence for the Festival, I spoke with authors, ran workshops on place-writing, and invited festival goers to join me in enjoying the simple pleasures of pen and paper.
Residency: ‘Stay This Moment’ at Monk’s House National Trust. At this one-day residency for National Writing Day (Wed 26 June), I was in Virginia Woolf’s garden at Rodmell, Sussex, reading from her diaries and mine, and inviting visitors to sit in the grounds and write letters or diary entries of their own.
Interview: For National Writing Day, I talk about writing ‘place’.
Interview: The Life Death Whatever Project invited me to contribute to their growing Five Things collection, with Five Things I’ve Learned from my Near-Death Experience.
Article: For Oh Comely (Issue 49) I review Annie Dillard’s 1975 Pilgrim At Tinker Creek for What We’re Reading.
Radio: Live on BBC Devon Radio Breakfast Show, speaking about Lynne Roper and her Wainwright Prize longlisting for the posthumously-published Wild Woman Swimming.
Prize: Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2019 – Longlisting for Wild Woman Swimming by Lynne Roper. Edited & published by Tanya Shadrick, The Selkie Press.
Residency/School group: ‘I met a traveller from an antique land’ – Year 5 pupils played with time and scale as part of the Horsham District Year of Culture/Arts Council England Field Notes from Warnham project. Inspired by the line from Warnham-born poet Shelley, microscope sessions and site tours first invited students to think about primitive life-forms and migrant birds. I then introduced the work of ancient Japanese poet Matsuo Basho and challenged them to write their own haiku, based on their experience of the nature reserve.
Festival: For Faversham Literary Festival, an excursion into walking, swimming, wellbeing, nature and writing. I read from Watermarks and Wild Woman Swimming, and share a discussion with Katherine May, author of The Electricity of Every Living Thing.
Articles: For Oh Comely Magazine (Issue 46), I tell a Tale of the Unexpected and review Lauren Elkin’s Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London
Visiting tutor: Working with Autobiography and Lifewriting students at New Writing South. Teaching on Authenticity and Form, with emphasis on embodiment (psychogeography/flaneuserie/loneliness)
Visiting tutor: Working with Autobiography and Lifewriting students at New Writing South. Teaching on Authenticity and Form, with emphasis on embodiment (nature/quest/solitude)
Prize: Finalist (runner up) in 2018 Brighton Prize for flash fiction, a competition open to international entries.
Festival: Bringing the story and book of Wild Woman Swimming by Lynne Roper to the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival.
Interview: Following the Crumbs, GrowingWild. Talked about creativity and making a path of one’s own by pursuing a passion for the natural world, with producer Charlotte Petts for her award-winning GrowingWild podcast. Featured also is inspiring wild swimmer Ella Foote.
Radio: In Pursuit of Beauty: Slow Art (BBC Radio 4) I am interviewed alongside sculptor David Nash. We talk about his Ash Dome at 40 and my two-year Wild Patience mile of writing. in a programme which also features durational sculpture and music. Producer Sara-Jane Hall.
Radio: Saturday 15 September. Interviewed for Radio Devon’s breakfast show on the story behind Wild Woman Swimming
Book launch: 8pm, Friday 14 September at The Green Table Cafe, Dartington. Celebrating the launch of Wild Woman Swimming by Lynne Roper.
Radio: 1pm, Thursday 6 September. Live on Radio Devon talking on how loss can inspire commitment, service, honouring of legacies – as with my promise to publish Lynne Roper’s Wild Woman Swimming diaries after her death.
Feature: Outdoor Swimming Society. I write on why a single encounter with Lynne Roper and her writing had me divert the course of my own life towards her for two years.
Residency (through to Autumn 19): Field Notes from Warnham:Writer-in-residence at this mid-Sussex nature reserve, working in collaboration with sculptor Will Nash (an ACE-funded project for Horsham District Year of Culture).
Editor: Wild Woman Swimming: A Journal of West Country Waters.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.
Talk: Stories from the Swim Community, hosted by Deakin and Blue and Sea Lanes Brighton, Thursday 30 August. In conversation with Leap In author Alexandra Heminsley and OSS Ambassador Ella Foote.
Interview: A Simple Path, for LinenMe.
Talk: Invited to speak on ‘The Wild’ at PechaKucha Brighton, Wednesday 15 August, using their 20 x 20 format (20 slides, 20 seconds talk per slide).
Residency: Artist-in-residence for the National Trust at Bucks Mill Cabin, North Devon.
Radio: In Pursuit of Beauty: Slow Art (BBC Radio 4) Thursday 7 June. I am interviewed alongside sculptor David Nash. We talk about his Ash Dome at 40 and my two-year Wild Patience mile of writing. in a programme which also features durational sculpture and music. Producer Sara-Jane Hall.
Participant: Part of a small, international group of composers, singers, conductors, librettists, choreographers, artists, actors, and others to be involved in ‘8 Sessions Experiment with Li-E Chen’ at Tate Modern, as part of the artist’s research and development project: A Silent Opera on the Life and Art of Tehching Hsieh.
Visiting tutor: University of Sussex. Introducing undergraduate Word & Image students to the Wild Patience scrolls as part of their curatorial development.
Article: For Oh Comely Magazine (Issue 42), I write on the Diaries of Anais Nin for their ‘Books That Bring Change’ feature.
Fellowship: Accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, with its mission to ‘enrich society through ideas and action’ and belief in the power to create.
Article: Winter Pub Walk for The Guardian, 30 December.
Festival: Speaker 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.
Radio: People Talking, Radio 4 Extra. Guest presenter for a 3-hour life story special with Fi Glover as part of the ongoing Listening Project.
Visiting tutor: A one-day workshop on Authenticity and Form for students on the Autobiography and Life Writing Programme at The Writers’ Place, Brighton.
Featured: Extracts from the completed Wild Patience Scrolls are available at REFRAME, the University of Sussex showcase for multimedia projects, on their new Life Writing site: a curated selection of creative representations of lived experience that set their own rules rather than following the conventions of genres such as memoir or biography.
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.
Television: BBC1 South East Today. Feature of Wild Patience and my residency at Jan Michalski by Robin Gibson, arts correspondent.
Film: The Unexpected Fisher. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’).
Interviews: Began a year-long series of in-depth interviews with the sculptor David Nash RA about his life and work in preparation for an essay celebrating the 40th anniversary of his iconic Ash Dome.
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.]
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.
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’
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.
Television: BBC1 South East Today. Profile of Wild Patience at Pells Pool by Robin Gibson, arts correspondent.
Illustrated short story: Unpsychology Magazine, ‘The Weather House’.
2016/17 (May 16 to Sept 17)
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’.
2010 to 2014
Hospice life-story scribe (St Peter & St James Hospice). Developed this service following a near-death experience.