Caught by the River

Words on Water – Radio 4

13th November 2012

We spoke in a previous post (Pub Talk, 8 October) of a radio programme that was being made on the subject of words on water. We can now reveal that it has been finished and is scheduled for broadcast this Thursday at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4. Most, or all, of the contributors will be familiar names to readers of Caught by the River and we highly recommend you find the time to tune in to what should be a most interesting programme covering a topic which is at the very heart of this sites being. Even the title rings a bell…

Words on Water: Mike Greenwood explores modern writing that uses the contemplative pursuit of fishing to explore our relationship with nature and our place in the world, with readings and location recordings from the river bank.

Samuel Johnson once dismissed angling as an activity “with a worm at one end and a fool at the other”. Nevertheless there’s a growing body of writers who take the contemplative pursuit of fishing as a starting point to explore our relationships with people, Nature and our place in the world. These are not manuals on catching fish, but often poignant, intense meditations, a means of connecting with the wild, or a quest for arcadia.

Mike Greenwood talks to a number of writers about their literary fascination with fish, including:

Luke Jennings who discusses his book Bloodknots – a meditation on fishing, but also a personal memoir about place, the past and personal loss; Chris Yates who casts a keen eye on the minutiae of the waterside; Andrew Greig who revisits a remote Highland loch as an act of tribute to his late friend, the poet Norman Maccaig; Charles Rangeley-Wilson who travels from the wildernesses of Alaska to a concrete culvert through a High Wycombe shopping precinct; and Dexter Petley, the writer of dark novels, observing the uneasy edges of society from the side of a carp lake in France.