New Writing Worlds 08 Human:Nature takes place in and around Norwich, a pleasant town in the county of Norfolk, in the East of England. Chief Executive of New Writing Partnership, Chris Gribble explained:
“The East of England is at the heart of the renaissance in nature writing in the UK, with new books in the past year from Richard Mabey, Mark Cocker, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths and the much missed Roger Deakin. In fact, Norwich has an international reputation in both the fields of Creative Writing and Environmental Impact studies, and so it makes sense to bring the best writers in world on these topics to the city. New Writing Worlds offers readers the chance to meet and talk to these writers, and the opportunity for the writers themselves to debate the effects of our changing relationship to nature on their work and the wider literary world.”
There are a number of events taking place between 15th and 20th June around the common theme of nature and our role in shaping our present and future. Key environmental questions will be put to the glittering literary line-up, made up of the world’s leading writers and environmentalists. There are a number of writers taking part, with featured writers such as Nobel Laureate novelist J.M Coetzeee, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C.K. Williams, acclaimed nature writers Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey, U.S.wilderness writer Gretel Ehrlich, and the first Welsh National poet, Gwyneth Lewis.
The schedule of events includes:
Sunday 15th June:
- An afternoon of readings and family activities in the garden of the Bishop’s residence. Featuring Jay Griffiths, Richard Mabey, Mark Cocker, Joanna Guthrie and Charles Rangley-Wilson. £2.50 entry.
Monday 16th June:
- Future Imperfect? Scientists, writers, local politicians and activists discuss the threat to our planet, and what, if anything, the creative imagination can actually contribute to this most urgent of debates. This event is being held at the Norwich Playhouse, 8 pm, featuring Giles Foden (UEA), Professor Andrew Watson (UEA), Tony Juniper (Director of Friends of the Earth), Graham Creelman OBE, Ian Gibson (MP), amongst others. £12 entry.
- Readings by Mimi Khalvati and Adam Thorpe at The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, 5 – 6 pm. Free entry.
Tuesday 17th June:
- Turning up the Temperature, an evening of spoken word and performance at the Norwich Arts Centre starting at 8 pm. With spoken word artist Ben Mellor, award-winning poet Kei Miller and singer/songwriter Samia Malik. £7 entry
- Readings by CK Williams, Adam Zagajewski and Gwyneth Lewis at The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, 5 – 6 pm. Free entry.
Wednesday 18th June:
- Connecting Worlds Readings and celebration of Refugee Week to be held at The Sainsbury Centre between 5 – 8 pm. Featuring Mia Couto, Jose E Agualusa, Geoff Dyer and Gretel Ehrlich. Worlds Writers readings, talks, exhibition and City of Refuge film projects. Free entry.
Thursday 19th June:
- Readings by JM Coetzee to be held in Lecture Theatre 1, University of East Anglia at 7.30pm. £5 entry.
- Readings by Tishani Doshi, Tijs Goldschmidt and Jonty Drive at The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, 5 – 6 pm. Free entry.
I like the idea of the writing community using their influence to inform the public, but this has to translate into action to be of any value in the fight against climate change. I sometimes worry that much of the average person’s interest in climate change is simply a desire to appear ‘trendy’ or ‘knowledgeable’ and give the impression they are concerned. The real question that should be asked is “are people prepared to take genuine steps to reduce their impact on climate change when these steps necessitate financial outlay and drastic changes to their lifestyle?” The bottom line is how far are we, as individuals and as a society, prepared to go to save our planet?
To see the full schedule of events, go here.