Caught by the River

Event announcement: Greenery

10th February 2020

On 3rd April from 7.30pm at Bristol’s Letterpress Collective (the Department of Small Works, Centrespace, 5 St Leonard’s Lane, Bristol BS1 1EA) we are teaming up with Tim Dee to host an evening of Greenery.  

Tim Dee’s new book is called Greenery and the event will help celebrate its leaf-out into print – it is published on 26th March by Jonathan Cape. Greenery is mostly about birds and particularly about swallows and redstarts that arrive from their winters in Africa to make the spring in Europe, all the way from Gibraltar to arctic Norway. Its subtitle is Journeys in Springtime and it is an exploration of the place of the season (its power, its meaning) that still looms large even in an era of species loss and climate crisis. Tim will talk about the book and read from it and he has invited an inflorescence of talent to share the stage. In addition there will be music, a bar, and a bookshop too.  And art to view on the walls of Nick Hand’s Letterpress studio. 

Will Burns, long-term poet in residence at Caught by the River, will read from his new first full collection Country Music (Offord Road Books). Will was born in London and lives in Buckinghamshire.  He didn’t finish his English degree, choosing instead to start an ill-fated band with his brother.  His first pamphlet was for Faber New Poets in 2014 and since then two more have appeared.  In 2019 he released the album Chalk Hill Blue, a collaborative work with the composer Hannah Peel.  That car-boot-sale sadness that is the prevailing weather of present day busted-flush broken down Southern England is a continuing theme in his poetry.  All his words on his places and the lives lived there are disarmingly plainspoken – they come straight from the heart and go straight to the heart.    

Luci Gorell Barnes began her professional life in the world of physical theatre but migrated to the realm of visual arts. Her work revolves around themes of childhood, place and belonging, and she writes, and makes artists books, maps and animated films that explore these ideas. In Bristol, she has a participatory practice concerned with those who find themselves on the margins, and develops responsive processes to support people to think imaginatively with themselves and others. Her creative collaborations contribute to a range of disciplines that include family support, health services, academic research and education.  As well as talking this evening, some of Luci’s recent work will be shown in the studio. 

Alexandra Harris is the author of Weatherland on the cultural history of rain and shine in England and Romantic Moderns about the striking meeting of artistic traditions in British art at the beginning of the twentieth century.  She will talk about her new short book on the history of calendars and almanacs called Time and Place (Little Toller). She teaches English Literature at Birmingham University and is writing a (bigger) next book on the local history of her home county of Sussex. 

Michael Malay is an Indonesian-American writer. He grew up in Jakarta and in Queensland, Australia before moving to the UK. He is currently writing Late Light, a book about eels, moths, freshwater mussels, and crickets and also about migration, memory and place.  As a work in progress it was shortlisted for the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize in 2019.  He lives in Bristol and teaches English and Environmental Humanities at the University of Bristol.

In addition to these speakers, Tim Dee (and others) will speak about and show some of the work of Greg Poole, the Bristol based artist who painted the cover of Greenery (and illustrated Tim’s Landfill) and who died in December 2018.  A collection will be held to raise money to towards sponsoring a student scholarship to the Seabird Painting course that Greg was a teacher on.

Advance tickets for the event, priced £10, are available in person from The Letterpress Collective and Friendly Records, BS3 – or online here.