At the inaugural Balham Literary Festival, a gathering of Nature Writers, Landscape Writers and Writer writers came together to discuss the state of the natural world. Here’s my report on what I saw and heard.
From the blurb on my copy of H is for Hawk it was pretty clear that the book was about Helen Macdonald and Goshawks and TH White and grief. I didn’t mistake the book for the Observer Book of Goshawks and feel outraged by all the snot and tears.
I read it and loved it. Only then, did I discover that there are, apparently, very strict rules, about how Nature Writing should be done…
I must admit that when I first heard about the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City, I thought it was a joke.
And yet the more I thought about it, the more interesting the concept became.
Landscapes, imagined and remembered, have always played a central role in literature.
The fascinating relationship between writers and the British landscape is currently explored in a new exhibition at The British Library: Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands. Here are some thoughts it inspired.