Masthead and all the other great pictures are by Alan 'Baggelboy' Rogerson.
The World-Ending Fire is my selection of the best of the essays of American writer, farmer, poet and philosopher Wendell Berry. The first collection of Berry’s writings ever published in the UK, it features the best of his reflections on land, nature, belonging and the crisis of modernity.
Published by Penguin in January 2017, it’s available from all the usual places, including the publisher.
2016: Year of the Serpent
15 December 2016We take almost all of the decisive steps in our lives as a result of slight inner adjustments of which we are barely conscious. – W. G. Sebald Last weekend, I was sitting in a packed room in the middle of a wild and wet Dartmoor listening to the mythologist Martin Shaw tell an old northern European…
The revolutionary moment
7 November 2016I’ve avoided writing about the American election. It’s not as if there are too few words or opinions on the subject flying about. And I’m not in America, so I can’t see the nuances. But I think maybe I can see something, from my perspective. And, hell, it’s been a few weeks since I last…
Brexit & the culture of Progress
3 November 2016In his introduction to the 1979 edition of his novel Pig Earth – the first in a trilogy chronicling the decline of peasant life in Europe in the 20th century – John Berger makes a distinction between what he calls a ‘culture of progress’ and a ‘culture of survival.’ The culture of progress, he says…
Four poets' houses
15 October 20161. Dove Cottage, Grasmere, England Until now, poetry has meant nothing to me. I’ve never understood it, or much cared. Most of the other stuff I’ve been forced to read in Mr Mitchell’s sixth form English class has been suicidally tedious. Alexander Pope’s verbose dribblings. Jane Austen’s yawnsome bonnets and carriage rides. What was it…
What Is This?
2 August 2016A review of ‘Abundance’, the new collection of writing by Annie Dillard. There is to be a total eclipse of the sun. A man and a woman drive across country for five hours, from the coast to the mountains, to witness the event; they have never seen a total eclipse before. They drive around until they…
The Call of the Wild
26 July 2016We had climbed, slowly, to a high mountain ridge. We were two young Englishmen who were not supposed to be here – journalism was forbidden – and four local guides, members of the Lani tribe. Our guides were moving us around the highlands of West Papua, taking us to meet people who could tell us…