New Merch: Book Spine Bags & Prints

11 August 2017 // Shop

Earlier this week, we stocked the Caught by the River shop with a run of brand new prints and tote bags.

The design, by illustrator Hugh Cowling, features the spines of 14 books which have been fundamental to Caught by the River over the past 10 years. From our own touchstones to books born of columns on the site, this is the combination of titles that sits on our ideal bookshelf. (more…)

Shelley Short – Pacific City

10 August 2017 // Music

Pacific City by Shelley Short is out tomorrow on Mississippi Records.

Lara C Cory reviews:

Born and bred in Portland Oregon, Shelley Short grew up surrounded by books and music, conversation and open minds, singing to the same in her music. Short’s 2014 album of cover songs, Wake the Dreamers, caught the attention of fellow Portlandian Peter Broderick. He felt “nourished by the sound of the voice coming from the turntable” and invited her to record in his small studio The Sparkle that looks out over Oregon’s North Pacific Ocean coast.

Pacific City is a gentle record that might get lost in a playlist or shuffle scenario, so play this one loud to appreciate its quiet beauty. If you’re familiar with the music of Broderick you might be expecting layers of orchestration or a strong piano presence, but Pacific City is delightfully subtle and remains true to the simple folk tradition. “Shelley seems to be able to look back and find meaningful guidance in the ways of the past” says Broderick. “I think this is where that nourishing feeling came from as I listened to her vinyl in the Spring. There’s an intangible wisdom in the folk traditions, and what a joy it is to spend time with someone who carries some of that.” (more…)

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Review

9 August 2017 // Birds //Books

As Kingfishers Catch Fire, by Alex Preston and Neil Gower (Corsair, hardback, 280 pages. Out now and available here)

Review by Will Burns

Although Wendell Berry was talking specifically about the land when he wrote that a ‘destructive history, once it is understood as such, is a nearly insupportable burden. Understanding it is a disease of understanding…’, there is surely a good measure of his logic in much of what passes for our writing and thinking on all of nature in our plastic age. I could not help but read Alex Preston and Neil Gower’s beautiful book as anything less than a meditation on such ‘destructive histories’, and indeed have come to believe that for many of us this sense of a nature separate from us – lost, humiliated, degraded – can only exist in a kind of imaginative space, a clearing (or clearance) of sorts in our time, our culture, our technologies. (more…)

Event Announcement: Caught by the River Social Club Presents…

8 August 2017 // Events

Poster by Nick Hand at The Letterpress Collective

Join us at our favourite watering hole – The Social, on London’s Little Portland Street – for a night of music, poetry and film.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 October, the evening will feature a rare live performance from July Skies, as well as a reading from poet Robert Selby, and a DJ set from Kate Carr. We will also be screening Diary of the Last Man, Eamon Bourke’s imaginative film-portrait of the writer and poet Robert Minhinnick, which charts a walk between the mouths of the rivers Cynffig and Ogwr on the south coast of Wales. Minhinnick will perform after the screening. (more…)


7 August 2017 // Photography

Mat Bingham and his collie puppy spend the first half of the year getting to know the birds living in their garden:

It’s early January, there is a sharpness to the air and a clarity to the light. At dawn I let our dog out into the garden. She is a welsh collie called Skye, a three month old puppy born last autumn. She bounds down the garden on her extendable lead until it locks and pulls her to an abrupt halt just short of a flock of fieldfares that take flight. The fieldfares are a rowdy bunch and shriek their annoyance at Skye for being disturbed from refuelling on the last of the autumn windfall apples. The flock settles above us in the trees, and fluffed up against the cold they busily chatter to each other.

Skye is restless and investigates the bee hives, their residents lying dormant, keeping warm in the centre of the hive, waiting for spring. (more…)