Dr Paul Evans FEA, nature writer, 

Guardian Country Diarist, poet, 

broadcaster, journalist, senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Paul Evans Nature writer
What's New 

'A beautifully lyrical look at the glories of British landscapes and wildlife, written by the Guardian's nature writer Paul Evans. 
 
Even if you never get closer to nature than a small urban green space, Paul Evans’s wonderfully poetic tribute to British wildlife, fields, rivers, forests, hedges, and verges will enhance your understanding of the country’s flora and fauna and spark your imagination. Evans has crafted evocative essays that cover all types of ancient, migrant, and endangered species of flora and fauna. He explores everything from bats visible under city streetlights to the red grouse that live in the wild moors'. 

Barnes & Noble USA 

'This beautiful series of essays on encounters with nature is a talisman for our 'environmentally anxious' era of losses. From the richness of Sand Martins who inhabit sands as unstable as our times, to the solace of lacewings and intimate encounters with orb-weaver spiders, ‘adorned in the extra-terrestrial glow of their pearl diadems’ Evans moves us from concern to inspiration. In this highly scientific yet lyrical series of encounters Evans blends close-observation and revelation with characteristic passion and accuracy. We learn that Ravens are undertakers, Nightingales are ventriloquists— who according to Coleridge, sang from their own ‘wanton tipsy joy.’ The ordinary becomes extraordinary in this fascinating book, written with a heart-lifting mixture of literary and personal insights'.

Miriam Darlington, wildlife, travel and nature writer 

Illustrations © Maria Nunzia 2018 @Varvera and cover illustration by Angela Harding @ANGELACHARDING

'Paul's writing style - exceptionally informed, magically evocative, funny, rude, ego-free, wholly subject-focussed, and exquisitely poetic - is one of the joys of contemporary nature writing....

The lucid depth of his erudition staggers me; the relationships and symbioses he reveals are a wonder; the witty creativity and rightness of his expression a gift that has both grace and magic.... Paul brings your attention back to the natural world in all its beauty, mystery, complexity and infinite variety, and his understanding of it, his insights into it, are as encyclopaedically impressive as they are utterly thrilling. Get hold of a copy and you'll see what I mean! He's one of the true nature-writing geniuses of the present day'. 

Jim Perrin, writer and Guardian Country Diarist 

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Shrewsbury Festival of Literature 2018 

 

Paul Evans  

 

How to See Nature 

Saturday 24 November 2018

3:00pm - 4:30pm

Shrewsbury Central, Claremont Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1QG

How to Write 

Sunday 25 November 2018

10:30am - 12:30pm

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LG

 

Buy your tickets online or in person at Pengwern Books

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The Times Today's picks: Short works by Paul Evans.

Friday 15.45, repeated Sunday 29th July 00.30 

Death meets the Lady in this short ghostly story written and narrated by Paul Evans. Inspired by a 19th Century ballad, the death of a witch, local folklore and the sounds of a woodland. The singer is Elizabeth Counsell. Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson. Produced by Sarah Blunt.

Country Diary 2018

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Radio 4 & 3 broadcasts

Archive listen again 

For more listen or read again 

Evans,P,. (2012). BBC Radio 4. Hy-Brasil. 5 Sep 2012.          Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mdg51  

Hy-Brasil is a phantom island which features in many Irish myths. The island is said to be cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years, when it becomes visible but still cannot be reached. It appears on a map in 1325 off the south west coast of Ireland. Despite the failure of so many attempts to find it, there exist sketches of this island, circular in shape with a river running east to west across its diameter. Written and narrated by Paul Evans with sound recordings by Chris Watson, Hy-Brasil tells the story of a journey across a sea of imagination in search of this phantom isle.

Its post World War II and drained and disillusioned by war, the narrator goes in search of peace and solitude "Like an earwig in a matchbox ... I crawl from the stinking wax towards life outside the deaf lug of the Metropolis" His destination is Hy-Brasil ; a "place rumoured to be filled with strange animals and a lone magician." Finding a sailor who will take him part of the way ".. I put all my money and my grandfather's watch into his cold squid hands and he says we're bound for the Porcupine Bank and the fog of Hy Brasil". In the shroud of fog which cloaks the isle " ... there are no landmarks to fix my bearings only stones crouching like monkish supplicants ...." But there is life on the island "I drift to sleep listening to a demented choir in the fog; birds or people or some demonic crossbreed of both". Later, he encounters "hellish creatures screaming". Far from offering him peace and sanctuary the island is a place of "sorcery", as the narrator encounters The Magician, Black Gliders, Jasconye the Fish, and Far Laith. Given such a strange, wild, dark black place, the journey's end is unexpected as the magic of Hy-Brasil works its spell in an unexpected way.

Book Review 

VIRGINIA ASTLEY THE ENGLISH RIVER

a journey down the Thames in poems & photographs published by BloodAxe Books. Publication date: 11 June 2018.

Books & Anthologies

Cornerstones, an anthology edited by Mark Smalley

Hardback, Published 24th July 2018. 

“This stirring collection of 22 essays on Earth’s bedrock intermingles geology and our cultural responses to stone, from flint tools and megaliths to Gothic cathedrals. ” 

 

Stories in all landscapes begin below the surface of the earth. Bedrock speaks first through the variety of soils, plants and animals that live above ground, then shapes the way people farm land, worship their gods and build villages, towns and cities. To understand the distinct quality of any place, first we must peel back the skin of the earth.

 

Adapted from the acclaimed BBC Radio 3 series, Cornerstones invites writers from around the world to consider the ground beneath their feet. Distinguished by a strong sense of place and characterised by close, personal observation, the pieces in this collection take us away from the familiar surfaces of life and express the awe that we feel when encountering the invisible heft, grain and rub of the subterranean world.

 

Contributors include: John Burnside, Linda Cracknell, Alan Garner, Gillian Clarke, Sue Clifford, Tim Dee, Paul Evans, Rose Ferraby, Alyson Hallett, Fiona Hamilton, Diane Johnson, Daniel Kalder, Jason Mark, Sara Maitland, Helen Mort, Gina Moseley, Sarah Moss, Peter Randall-Page, Ronald Turnbull, Sara Wheeler, Esther Woolfson.

 

 

“This stirring collection of 22 essays on Earth’s bedrock intermingles geology and our cultural responses to stone, from flint tools and megaliths to Gothic cathedrals. ” 

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Paperback launch of Herbaceous Published 1st February 2018 (UK). 

Herbaceous is the paperback edition of Little Toller’s first monograph. Paul Evans’ book is gardening with words – an work of audacious botany and poetic vision which asks us to look anew at our relationship with plants and celebrates their power to nourish the human spirit.

“The John Clare of his generation” The Guardian

“His pieces are intensely local, full of cloud and light, breezy.” John Vidal.

Radio 4 & 3 broadcasts

BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day Raven

3 Nov 2017

Photographs - Maria Nunzia @Varvera

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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