Close reading on the theme of nature at the Ledbury Poetry Festival

Earlier this month, John Parham, from the Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts, led a close reading at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Based on 20 years’ research into how poetry can help us to better understand nature in a time of climate crisis, audience members took turns to read extracts from two iconic British nature writers, the Victorian priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and the contemporary poet Alice Oswald. Attended by approximately 45 people, a vibrant discussion (during and after the session!) ranged across themes of poetic style, whether religion impedes our love of nature, climate change, and how we sustain both humans and nature in landscapes peppered with agricultural and industrial activity. Entitled ‘Dappled and Discordant: On poetry and our ‘off-beat’ relationship with nature’, John’s session was sponsored by The Friends of the Dymock Poets.

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