A (short?) hiatus.

I had intended to spend my spare time during our family’s annual summer stay in the North Pennines thinking through, and then writing up, material for this blog. This was to include both a number of reviews of books that have caught my attention and putting together the concluding sections of Speculations on self and mortality: thinking with three artists and a poet. A number of events have interrupted that intention. Some are personal and relate to family issues that have no relevance here, but two relate to ongoing work that must, inevitably, take me away from my original intention to focus on material to post here. 

The first relates to my interest in the work of the Welsh sculptor Lois Williams. About a month ago I finished writing a lengthy essay that uses the insights of the poet Tim Cresswell, who is also a professor of geography at Edinburgh University, to explore what I understand to be the topopoetic resonances of Williams work. When I finished this it seemed to me, for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here, that I had an obligation to try to get this translated into Welsh and published in Wales. Through the generosity of the Welsh poet and environmentalist Elinor Gwynn, who I know through our shared involvement in Utopias Bach, there is now a possibility of doing just that. However, this will require me to rework a six and a half thousand word essay into something no longer than three thousand words, a task I’m determined to carry through but am finding as demanding as it is time-consuming. However, by doing so I also hope to clarify my thinking in the original English version of the essay which, all things being equal, I will revise and put up here. When (and if) that will happen will depend, however, on the fate of the shorter version. 

The second reason for my not carrying on with my original plan are unexpected requests to involve myself in collaborative work. Either in the academic context of doctoral study, as some form of supervisor or mentor, or as a contributor to artist-led projects promoting better appreciation of publicly-accessible ecologies or in rethinking attitudes to agriculture and land use. These are opportunities I need to take up but which, inevitably, take my attention away from my engagement here.