Meetup 6th October


NB If I am unable to give the workshop, Louise Green and Michael Loveday will give it in my place. ( All necessary materials will be in the room.)

*asterisked people will definitely be contributing to the afternoon programme.  Initially, I only invited subscribers who had not yet had chances to present their own work, or a chosen writer,  in one of the afternoon programmes. After a week, I opened up the afternoon to all our friends. 


Working title: THE MANY JOYS OF PROSE organised and hosted by Michael Loveday & Sue Boyle with  programme to include …. ( all these items have already been confirmed.  Many others are pending. ) Non-workshop people available to read : Margaret Heath, Conor Whelan…..

1.45pm doors open

2.00pm introduction and welcomes by SUE BOYLE

2.05pm ANDREW LAWRENCE first song

2.10pm A suite of writings on the theme of  home.  Bath Writers & Artists will each read a short piece of their own work, accompanied by provided slide or slides. MICHAEL LOVEDAY on Bath Quays, SHIRLEY WRIGHT passage from her novel Time Out of Mind, and offers in ( 11 August ) from CONOR WHELAN ( all or more probably some of his memorised story The Tree of Lost Souls) SUE SIMS, AMA BOLTON & MARGARET HEATH.  (I am waiting for more contributions to come in before finally sharing out the slots for the afternoon.)

2.30pm Prose in Progress followed by Q&A. Four Bath Writers will present work for c. 5 mins each, accompanied by slides, and will then respond to questions from the audience. NIKKI KENNA will compere this, probably with A.N.OTHER. `

SUE BOYLE : “How terrible to be an  exile without the homesickness,  because such an exile would be a person for whom no place on earth had ever been a home.” 
MIRANDA PENDER: “Ageing ex-rock star struggles to atone for a grim secret in his past….a tale of lust, jealousy, betrayal, and revenge…” 

3.00pm MIRANDA PENDER will present a song inspired by her ongoing novel

3.05pm MICHAEL LOVEDAY on visiting Rickmansworth as the introduction to the launch of his new book Three Men on the Edge.


3.45pm ANDREW LAWRENCE second song

3.50pm Writing the Wilderness: concert of readings from books suggested by members of Bath Writers&Artists group.  Recommendations already in :

suggested by  Margaret Heath  William Atkins’ The Immeasurable World
suggested by  Ama Bolton Farley Mowat :Never Cry Wolf
suggested by Linda Saunders John Lewis-Stempel: The Running Hare ( see link below)
suggested by Verona Bass  Annie Dillard: A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
EXTRACTS  Once, in order to finish a book…..I begged a cabin to use as a study….on a remote and sparsely populated island ….in Northern Puget Sound….
I finished the book there, wrote some other things and learned to split wood….Thoreau said that wood warmed him twice – because he laboured to cut his own…… must have been a largely silent comedy…across the sand flat…Bob said that the single remark he had ever permitted himself: ”I love to watch Annie split wood!” …..One night, while all this had been going on, I had a dream in which I was given to understand, by the powers that be, how to split wood. You aim, said the dream – of course! – at the chopping block. It is true. You aim at the chopping block, not at the wood; then you split the wood, instead of chipping it. You cannot do the job cleanly unless you treat the wood as the transparent means to an end, by aiming past it.

verona’s other suggestions….

Simon Armitage Walking Home ; Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way
[Faber and Faber 2012]

Annie Dillard: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek [Jonathan Cape 1975] ( Picador Pan Books Ltd. 1976)
Teaching a Stone to Talk same as above?
The Writer’s Life [Harper Perennial 1989 ]

Robyn Davidson Tracks ( account of trekking across central deserts of Australia with camels ) [Penguin?]

Tim Dee The Running Sky, A Birdwatching Life.[Jonathan Cape]

Robert AJ de Hart Beyond the Forest Garden [1996 Gaia Books Ltd]

Hannah Kent Burial Rites [set in Northern Iceland 1829] Picador 2014

Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behaviour
A Prodigal Summer [Harper Collins, USA] [ Britain Faber and Faber 2000]

Robert Macfarlane The Old Ways; A Journey on Foot [Hamish Hamilton 2012]
Landmarks 2015 also Penguin, Random House , UK.
(about the power of language to shape our sense of place)
The Wild Places (2007 author’s journey to explore and document the remaining wilderness of the British Isles. ) [Penguin]

Sarah Maitland: A Book of Silence, A journey in search of the pleasures and powers of silence.
[Granta Books 2008]

Rory Stewart The Places in Between [ a walk across Afghanistan ; Picador 2004]

Tim Winton Land’s Edge ; A Coastal Memoir (Australian) Picador


from Shirley Wright Rachel Carson: Silent Spring and Kathleen Jamie: Sightlines and Findings
suggested by Conor Whelan Nan Shepard : The Living Mountain
suggested by  Sue Sims  Roger Deakin: Wildwood, Walnut Tree Farm and Water-log

EXTRACT: Why do I sleep outdoors? Because of the sound of the random dripping of rain off the maples or ash trees over the roof of the railway wagon, or the hopping of a bird on the wet felt on the roof, or the percussion of a twig against the steel stove-chimney. Out there, I hear the yawn of the wind in the trees along Cowpasture Lane. I feel in touch with the elements in a way I never do indoors. / Sleeping one time in Burgate Wood on the moated island of the old hall, I put my cheek against the loam and the cool ground ivy. When I closed my eyes I saw the iceberg depths of the wood’s root-world. Walking there, picking my way through the trees, I had thought of it as perpendicular until I lay down and entered the ground-world. This is the part of a wood that only reveals itself occasionally after a big storm, when the trees have keeled over and the roots are thrown suddenly upright, clutching earth and stones. How deep do roots go? From Wildwood by Roger Deakin, mailed in by Sue

4.15pm Opening Sentences set . Suggestions for this sequence currently being sought. I have 2 from AMA BOLTON on another file and 7 from SHIRLEY WRIGHT. If this set doesn’t get enough enthusiasm, or if the others get too much, we will postpone it and expand the novelists, the places that feel like home and the wilderness sets.

Do check Conor’s recommendation from the Bookshop Band , link here

4.45pm MIRANDA PENDER with a second song inspired by her novel ( see above)

4.50pm MIRANDA PENDER The Amphioxus song by Sam Hinton.

Audience chorus lead by ANDREW LAWRENCE :
It’s a long way from Amphioxus. It’s a long way to us.
It’s a long way from Amphioxus to the meanest human cuss.
Well, it’s goodbye to fins and gill slits, and it’s welcome lungs and hair!
It’s a long, long way from Amphioxus, but we all came from there.



caspar david friedrich

Is wilderness a place, or is it where we recognise the limit of our selves?