Literary (and other) encounters

During May we will be uploading the full details of the Base Camp programme. Here to whet your appetite are some of the sessions where writers and musicians introduce works they have created and  poets and artists lead you to co-create your own.



BEAST by Paul Kingsnorth

Paul Kingsnorth’s new novel, Beast, is the second of a trilogy of books which began with his post-apocalyptic historical novel The Wake. It explores the mind of a man alone on a West Country moor: what he has left behind, what he has come for, and what he begins to see in the corner of his vision; some creature that is tracking him, the pursuit of which will become an obsession. Paul will try to talk about the book without giving anything away, and will read bits from it too.

Poet, novelist and essayist Paul Kingsnorth is the co-founder of Dark Mountain. Beast will be published by Faber & Faber in June.


Renga on Renga Platform in Cotehele Orchard, Cornwall

Renga with Paul Conneally and Anne-Marie Culhane

Renga is a 1000 year old Japanese form of collaborative non-narrative poetry made up of a series of short linked verses. The process of writing a renga is a shared creative experience open to all. It is a frame that binds people, landscape and seasons led by a master poet, who holds the map, and a host.   We have created a bespoke renga schema devised specially for this gathering. It will take two to three hours, and during this time participants will experience the rhythm of writing, reading, listening, the silence and sound that is renga (and tea).

Little Onion is haiku master, cultural forager, artist and poet Paul Conneally. Paul’s practice is most often performative, communal and collaborative in nature. His work is rooted in the link and shift of renga style poetry, the exploration of space, place and time.

Anne-Marie Culhane creates participatory events, performances and long term projects that invite people into an active and enquiring relationship with each other and the land working as artist, activist and collaborator across a range of disciplines.


Extracts from David Fleming’s visionary work were published in Dark Mountain Issues 5 and 6

Lean Logic by David Fleming

Shaun Chamberlin (editor of the book and close friend of the late author) will be reading some entries from Lean Logic, the unique and entertaining ‘Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It’, before leading an interactive workshop exploring the extracts’ connections with Dark Mountain, and with your life.

Dr. David Fleming (1940 – 2010) was a visionary thinker and writer who played significant roles in the genesis of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement, and the New Economics Foundation, as well as chairing the Soil Association. Lean Logic will be published by Chelsea Green in September.


scatterlings cover JPEGScatterlings with Martin Shaw

Un-refine yourself. Un-civilise yourself. Hold a corner of the Earth that has claimed you.

In conversation with DM editor, Charlotte Du Cann Martin Shaw will take us into the territory of his new book, Scatterlings. Set in Dartmoor, it chronicles a journey over five years down ‘the crooked lanes of local story until I could go no further’.

The book is ‘the tale of a myth teller making a circle round their den and bedding in. It comes with a price attached. It is recklessly insistent on the urge to kick your boots off, get down on your knees and kiss rough soil, crawl under barbed wire fences and touch the bark of holy trees, hoot and strut and weep and let the wild darkness get its beautiful paws on you once again.

‘For all its bookishness what it desires most is to get you out where the buses don’t park. What it calls for is a kind of elegant disintegration … a different kind of activism, a different kind of thinking.’


23 Catrina Davies - Records low res(1 of 4)
Singer-songwriter Catrina Davies on deck in her tin shed (Dark Mountain Issue 8)

Living with Less: Notes and Songs from the Shed with Catrina Davies

‘The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.’ (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854)

Catrina Davies will read extracts from her forthcoming book about her experience of living in a tin shed on the edge of the Atlantic, intertwined with songs celebrating a deeper relationship with the natural world.

The session will also explore the non-material elements of a good lifestyle and a story of hope sprung from the heart of the housing crisis.

Catrina Davies is a writer, songwriter and surfer based in Cornwall, UK. She is the author of The Ribbons are for Fearlessness and the accompanying Ribbons EP.