Caught by the River

Pleasures of… February

25th February 2013

A bunch of stuff caught our eye over the last month or so making us think it was time to bring back our semi-regular Pleasures postings. Some of these recommendations we’ve read, watched or listened to already; others we just think you’ll share our curiosity for. Hope you find something you like:

SomersetLevelsphoto: Gary Edwardes

Lives in a Landscape: An Occasional Island. Episode 2 of 4. Scheduled for broadcast on Radio 4 at 11am on Wednesday. This, I’m looking forward to. I have a fascination for the Somerset Levels (the name of our record label may have been something of a clue) which one day I will sate by actually paying them a visit. Until then, I’ll look at the photography of George Wright, read the words of James Crowden and tune in to this programme. More information here.

The Listeners. BBC Radio 4. Produced by Sarah Blunt. Featuring five people who all ‘listen for living’. Episode 1 can be listened to here and episode 2 is scheduled to broadcast at 11am next Tuesday. More programme information can be found here.

The Echo Chamber: The Body. Producer: Tim Dee. Episode 1 of 4. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday and now on the iPlayer.

The BBC website says: A new programme introduced by Paul Farley featuring the best of poetry now. The first in the series looks at the body in question – the shapes of poems and the people in them. How does a poet decide on the form of their poem? What do different poetic forms do the subject of a poem? The programme travels the country and anatomises its poetic body. With found poems and field-notes, a diary of failure and success, the sound of the world being taken down in rhyme, and a look into a hive of dead bees in midwinter. With new poems from Sean Borodale, Don Paterson and Alice Oswald.

An interview with Judith Schalansky, creator of the perennial Caught by the River favourite, Atlas of Remote Islands, on the new on-line journal, The Island Review.

The latest run of documentaries in the Storyville series on BBC 4 has been outstanding. Too hard – and pointless – to single just one out but I watched Expedition to the End of the World this afternoon and it’s pretty mindblowing stuff. It’s on the iPlayer for another seven days.

Part Ghost Box, part Framley Examiner, part TV Go Home, the Scarfolk Council website is an absolutely loopy hauntological trip where the ’70s are viewed through a cracked kaleidoscope. A proper visual treasure trove that rewards repeat visits with ever more bizarre postings.

8 Underground Rivers: Rivers run underground all over the world. These occur naturally in cave systems, and have been known since antiquity, as evidenced in legendary myths of underground waterways such as the River Styx which forms the boundary between Earth and Hades. But this is about subterranean rivers that were once open to the sunlight and were buried by human hands (or heavy machinery). This happens when cities are built overtop, when wetlands are drained, and when existing waterways are consolidated and hidden to give people and their infrastructures more room to grow or move. In some of those places, people don’t even realize there’s a river running underneath their homes.