Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer Wade Davis talks about his latest work Magdalena, the River of Dreams, about the Magdalena River in Colombia. His memoir braids together history and journalism, adventure through a spectacular landscape and a kaleidoscopic picture of Colombia’s complex past, present and future.
The Jan Morris Lecture is a space to celebrate the legacy of this great voyager, historian and journalist, and to listen to fascinating stories about the most significant landscapes around the world, through the work of great travel writers.
Explorer is the story of what first led Benedict Allen to head for the farthest reaches of our planet – at a time when there were still valleys and ranges known only to the remote communities who inhabited them. It is also the story of why, thirty years later, he is still exploring. It’s the story of a journey back to a clouded mountain in New Guinea to find a man called Korsai who had once been a friend, and to fulfil a promise made as young men. It is also a story of what it is to be ‘lost’ and ‘found’. Allen considers the lessons he has learnt from his numerous expeditions; most importantly, from the communities he has encountered and that he has spent so much of his life immersed in. He talks to travel and adventure writer Dan Richards.
Anna Fleming’s Time on Rock: A Climber’s Route into the Mountains charts her progress from terrified beginner to confident lead climber, and the way in which learning to climb offered a new relationship with both the landscape and herself. She describes how climbing invites us into the history of a place: geologically, of course, but also culturally, delving into what it’s like to be a woman in such a male-dominated world – and the ways in which the climbing community is trying to shift that balance.
Poet and novelist Helen Mort’s A Line Above the Sky is a love letter to losing oneself in physicality, whether climbing a mountain or bringing a child into the world. Melding memoir and nature writing to ask why humans are drawn to danger, and how we can find freedom in pushing our limits, she examines attitudes to women who take risks, particularly once they become mothers, and questions who their ‘body’ belongs to. Helen’s own story is haunted by the life of Alison Hargreaves who died on K2, having gone against convention by refusing to give up her career as a professional mountaineer after having children.
Join the author of Walking the Old Ways of East Breconshire and the Black Mountains and two guides from Brecon Beacons National Park on a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye.
Paddy Crewe presents his brilliantly original debut to author and critic Erica Wagner. It is 1815 in a small town in Georgia, when Yip Tolroy – mute and a social outcast – is born. His mother struggles to manage his needs, leaving Yip to find his own way in a hostile environment. He begins to transform his life by learning to read and write, his portal into the community a piece of slate and supply of chalk. At 15, his life is altered irrevocably when he witnesses the discovery of gold and commits a grievous crime that leaves him with no choice but to flee. Thrust into a world of violence, Yip and his unlikely comrade Dud are forced to leave town and embark on an odyssey across the wonder and horror of the American frontier.
Ea has always felt like an outsider. She suffers from a type of deafness that means she cannot master the spinning rituals that unite her pod of spinner dolphins. When tragedy strikes her family and Ea feels she is partly to blame, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave. A transformative new novel by a foremost writer of climate fiction, of an ocean world – its extraordinary creatures, mysteries, and mythologies – that is increasingly haunted by the cruelty and ignorance of the human race. Paull talks to broadcast journalist Georgina Godwin.