26 recommends

I took a short story workshop via Zoom in August, with author Edward Hogan (longlisted for this year’s Sunday Times Short Story Award), as part of the John Hewitt Digital Festival. Normally I can’t attend their summer school because it’s slap bang in the middle of school holidays but this year they moved to a digital festival and – hurray! – I could attend Ed’s superb workshop.

– Lucy Beevor


I just finished James Meek’s To Calais, in Ordinary Time. Brilliant writer whose People’s Act of Love I loved a few years ago. This new novel is set in 14th century at time of the Black Death in a chaotic England where the plague is spreading. Obvious parallels but written before Covid. And written in an English that is like that of the 14th century but easily understandable. A story that keeps you engaged till the end. Highly recommend.

– John Simmons


Recently published book Art Meets Ecology takes a fresh look at woodland ecology through the eyes of artists.

The book delves deep into Lady Park Wood, an ancient, semi-natural wood on the slopes and cliffs of the Wye Gorge just over the border in Monmouthshire. Uniquely, the wood has been sealed off and left untouched and unmanaged for seventy five years as a scientific study.

George Peterken OBE, who has led the research since the 1980s, invited The Arborealists (a national group of professional artists who share a passion for trees) to draw and paint in this special place in spring and autumn 2017. Extensively illustrated, the artworks have been arranged in themes such as Wild Wood, Regeneration and Relicts of the Past with commentary by George examining how both artists and ecologists observe trees and woodland closely, but express their understanding in totally different language.

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