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.

Presented and produced by Mike Greenwood

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.