Land And Sea And Sky

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Episodes

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01Out Of The Marvellous2010030820100907

The poet Katrina Porteous lives at the edge of the land in the Northumbrian village of Beadnell and has spent her life exploring and writing about the culture and language of fishing, the land and seascape, the sky full of seabirds and the history of her place.

In her essay, 'Out of the Marvellous', recorded on the rocks, in a tarry old fisherman's hut and the ruins of an ancient headland chapel, she reveals how the meeting of land and sea and sky has shaped the way of life of a community, and her own way of seeing and artistic creation.

Poet Katrina Porteous describes living in the Northumbrian coastal village of Beadnell.

022010030920100909

The poet and essayist Jeremy Hooker recalls his early life on the south coast, looking across to Isle of Wight, in wartime.

The sea and sky were fascinating, and dangerous, and the land fractured, revealing remants of earlier creations and their stories.

Out of these the poet was himself made.

Hooker considers other poets of the south country -Tennyson, whose memorial he could see on the Island, and Thomas Hardy.

Their poetry has a Victorian melancholy which he resists in his own.

He contrasts the meeting of land and sea and sky he knew as a boy with that in west Wales, where storms shifted the furniture in his seafront room.

And for Hooker the meeting of land and sea and sky, its shifting, its re-arranging and it rhythms provides an example, a poetic discipline.

Poet and essayist Jeremy Hooker discusses his early life spent on the south coast.

03Over The Water: Writing Belonging2010031020100910

The young Liverpool dramatist and singer Lizzie Nunnery brings an urban eye to bear on the meeting of land and sea and sky in her essay 'Over the Water: Writing Belonging'.

Recorded by water, at the pierhead on the Mersey and on the streets of Liverpool, her essay recalls the pleasure of growing up in a city with beaches which she took for granted, then her growing awareness of how the city grew from the meeting of the land and the sea, how the traffic of people and ideas created the identity of the place, the character of the people, and her own sensibility as a writer.

Dramatist and singer Lizzie Nunnery recalls growing up in Liverpool.

Recorded by water, at the pierhead on the Mersey and on the streets of Liverpool, her essay recalls the pleasure of growing up in a city with beaches which she took for granted, then her growing awarenes of how the city grew from the meeting of the land and the sea, how the traffic of people and ideas created the identity of the place, the character of the people, and her own sensibility as a writer.

04*20100311

Michael Bird writes books about the visual arts, so St Ives is a good place to be.

In his essay he explores how the constant transformations of what he sees, the land in the light, the weather, the breaking waves, even the people, have a rejuvenating, inspirational impact on him.

Bird's essay was recorded in the streets leading down to the water, on Porthmeor Beach, on the cliff path leading to Land's End, along the run he takes to focus his thoughts.

Unusually, but importantly, for a writer, he lives where the visual rather than the verbal, takes precedence.

In St Ives one sees, then writes, rather than the other way around.

And Michael Bird puzzles on his personal jouney, on how he came to be living in the far southwest, where land and sea and sky meet so dramatically.

Writer Michael Bird discusses the inspirational effect of living in St Ives in Cornwall.

05 LAST20100312

Chris Wood has won awards for his songwriting and his performance, such as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, 2009.

He is much concerned with English identity and our relationship with the land (his album 'Trespasser' is a musical examination of enclosure as a continuing affront).

Exploring such themes Wood draws on the ancient storytelling of traditional song, engages with our very nature in 'Turtle Song' - a new song written for the recent Darwin anniversary - and place (there's even a song about his allotment).

He has always lived in Faversham and recorded on location here in Kent's creek, mudflat region, his essay explores how the sea snaking far inland the vast sky and the Dickensian marshes have all shaped his sensibility and concerns.

Singer Chris Wood on how the sea, the sky and the marshes in Faversham have affected him.