The Nature Writing of Jim Crumley

"The landscape matters first and last for its own sake. It owes us nothing, yet it offers immeasurable rewards to those who revere it." April saw the publication of the third of Jim Crumley's seasonal nature studies. Following Autumn and Winter, we now have The Nature of Spring. Crumley is a well-established name in nature … Continue reading The Nature Writing of Jim Crumley

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The Renaissance of Nan Shepherd

Two nature writers, from different countries writing in different eras. Both were long dead and forgotten; their reputations languished, books long out of print. The last decade has seen the profile of each rising beyond what could ever have been expected in their lifetimes. Nan Shepherd and JA Baker: authors of the two finest works … Continue reading The Renaissance of Nan Shepherd

‘How the world sustains’: Kathleen Jamie

I once made a mixtape for Kathleen Jamie. Two, in fact. In my first year at University, Kathleen Jamie was the writer-in-residence. For the weekly writers' group meetings, her and three students (I was one) decamped from her office on Dundee's Nethergate to a nearby café or pub to rant about the Tory government of … Continue reading ‘How the world sustains’: Kathleen Jamie

Mike Tomkies: Wilderness(e) man

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe" wrote Donne. Well, Mike Tomkies tried his damnedest. Tomkies's books sold in their thousands in the 1980s, but in today's Nature Writing Revival he is nowhere to be found. Both my Dad and cousin Colin (with whom I went birdwatching in my teens, chugging around Fife … Continue reading Mike Tomkies: Wilderness(e) man

Every fertile inch: Derek Jarman’s “Modern Nature”

Dungeness occupies a peculiar place in the English psyche. If the more overtly symbolic Dover cliffs can be read as embodying England's stance toward Europe - aloof, haughty, withdrawn - Dungeness, whose geography is far less confrontational, is more ambiguous. It is an English wilderness; one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe. It … Continue reading Every fertile inch: Derek Jarman’s “Modern Nature”

“Landfill” by Tim Dee

My copy of Landfill was supplied for review by Little Toller Books. Tim Dee's latest book may just be his most important. His 2008 work The Running Sky is justifiably recognised as a classic of modern nature writing. Through the months of a year Dee looks at a particular species, habitat, or aspect of our … Continue reading “Landfill” by Tim Dee