Northern Drift

BBC Radio 3, Monday July 11th 21.30

Elizabeth Alker presents music and poetry from the Hebden Bridge Trades Club. Her guests are Northumberland poet Katrina Porteous and Leeds folk singer Iona Lane accompanied by fiddler Mia Scot.

Iona, Mia and I had a great night recording this session before an excellent audience in the Trades Club, alongside Liverpudlian poet Mark Pajak, who is featured on the July 4th edition of the programme. Look out on July 11th for Iona’s brilliant song about 19th century fossil-hunter Mary Anning.

The poems I read are:

An excerpt from ‘The Wund an’ the Wetter’, a poem in the dialect of the Northumbrian coble fishing community. The full poem is published in ‘Two Countries’ (Bloodaxe Books, 2014).

For more information on Northumbrian dialect see the Northumbrian Language Society, HERE.

For more about my work with the Northumbrian coble fishing community, please see my February 2021 blog post, ‘The Poetry of Fishing’.

#rhizodont. This poem appeared in ‘Many Hands’, with photographs by Jose Snook (Lindisfarne Peregrini Landscape Partnership, 2017). You can read it in the December 2021 ‘Fossils’ post on this blog.

‘Coastal Erosion’, a poem about the East Durham mining communities, from ‘Sea Change’ (with Phoebe Power, Guillemot Press, 2020). Available HERE.

This episode of Northern Drift is produced by Paul Frankl and will be available HERE on BBC Sounds for four weeks after broadcast.

Rose Ferraby’s cover for ‘Sea Change’

If you enjoy this programme you might also like ‘Sea, Sky, Stars’ with music by Alexis Bennett, HERE, and Guillemot Press Poets on Poetry and Collaboration, HERE, a Poetry in Aldeburgh podcast from 2021, featuring some of my work alongside Phoebe Power, Clarissa Álvarez and Petero Kalulé.

Unpossessable Country

Renowned North-East contemporary land and seascape artist Ruth Bond will be showcasing her artwork at The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed on Hadrian’s Wall from Tuesday 5th – Sunday 31st July 2022.  

‘Unpossessable Country’ is a collection of around 30 works by Ruth Bond, who began painting oils of Northumberland in around 2014, when her love of wild, wide landscapes and the emotional impact of changing light and weather inspired a change in career direction from an award-winning interior design business. 

Paintings which illustrate the beauty of northern light, land and the drama surrounding Hadrian’s Wall are exhibited at The Sill in celebration of Hadrian’s Wall’s 1900th anniversary, as part of the year-long Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival.  

I’m proud to say that the title of this exhibition, and of a number of Ruth’s paintings in it, are quotations from my long poem about the Wall ‘This Far and No Further’, which can be found in ‘Two Countries’. A longer quotation from that poem is featured on the wall of the YHA café in The Sill.

Cover photo by Julian Stallabrass, 1985