At a symposium next month (15 September 2017) academics, artists and ornithologists will share their responses to the work of 19th-century poet John Clare, whose patient and accurate observations of birds in field and hedgerow continue to astonish and inspire.
The writer Nan Shepherd (1893-1981), who was quietly acclaimed in her lifetime, is the face of a new Royal Bank of Scotland bank note. One of Shepherd’s staunchest supporters is Robert Macfarlane (Faculty of English), who wrote the introduction to her book about the Cairngorms.
A symposium taking place on Tuesday (23 September 2014) at Cambridge University Botanic Garden will unite artists, writers, scientists and literary scholars to look at the poet John Clare’s close engagement with the natural environment as a botanist as well as poet.
Over the past few years, the genre of ‘nature writing’ has seen a new sense of urgency, fostered by a growing awareness of a natural world under pressure. Dr Robert Macfarlane, from the Faculty of English, believes that writers have played, and continue to play, a central role in conservation by engaging our hearts and our minds.