Writing & Engagement

2019 (February)

Reading: Watermarks and Wild Woman Swimming at Faversham Literary Festival

2018 (November)

Reading: Bringing the story and book of Wild Woman Swimming by Lynne Roper to the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival.

2018 (September)

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. The book launch will be in Totnes on Friday 14 September, the evening before The Outdoor Swimming Society’s Dart10k weekend.

2018 (From September through into 2019 Horsham District Year of Culture)

Residency: Fields Notes from Warnham: Writer-in-residence at this mid-Sussex nature reserve, working in collaboration with sculptor Will Nash (an ACE-funded project).

2018 (August)

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.

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.

2018 (June)

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.

2018 (May)

Participant: Following an international call-out, chosen to be part of a small group of composers, singers, conductors, librettists, choreographers, artists, actors, lighting designers, producers, curators, dramaturge and others to be involved in ‘8 Sessions Experiment with Li-E Chen’ as part of the artist’s research and development project: A Silent Opera on the Life and Art of Tehching Hsieh.

2018 (April)

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.

2018 (Mar)

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.

2018 (Feb)

Reading: Shared the story of how I became an accidental artist as part of the launch for Justin Hopper’s book The Old Weird Albion.

2017 (Dec)

Article: Winter Pub Walk for The Guardian, 30 December.

2017 (Nov)

Readings: 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.

Teaching: A one-day workshop on Authenticity and Form for students on the Autobiography and Life Writing Programme at The Writers’ Place, Brighton.

2017 (Sept)

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.

2017 (August)

Television: BBC1 South East Today. Feature of Wild Patience and my residency at Jan Michalski by Robin Gibson, arts correspondent.

2017 (July)

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.

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)

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.]

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 (July)

Television: BBC1 South East Today. Profile of Wild Patience at Pells Pool by Robin Gibson, arts correspondent.

2016 (June)

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

2016/17 (May 16 to Sept 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/University of Sussex): ‘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.