Celebrating Roger Deakin

16th March, 2017

Nature writer and environmentalist Roger Deakin, famous amongst swimmers for his book Waterlog, will be celebrated at an event this April at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Deakin’s work will be showcased at the Writers’ Centre, Norwich, where authors, poets and conservationists will be gathering to discuss the late great pioneer of wild swimming and his two major themes as they continue to be written about today; rivers and woodlands.

The British Archive for Contemporary Writing, a collection of contemporary authors’ manuscripts, correspondence and related literary material, is held at the university. In 2010 the collection was given Deakin’s complete archive and this spring they are making the most of it.

The event will explore how rivers and woodlands continue to captivate our attention today and how Deakin helped to found the arts and environmental charity, Common Ground and worked for Friends of the Earth in the 1980s. More recently, his books Waterlog (1999) and Wildwood (2007) have had an enormous influence on what has come to be called ‘the New Nature Writing’. The afternoon of talks, readings and discussion promises to explore and celebrate his work by looking at both the past and the present.

“How can swimming rivers help us to think about them differently?”


Speakers will include Richard Mabey (author of Nature Cure and The Cabaret of Plants), Katharine Norbury (author of The Fish Ladder), Adrian Cooper (director of Common Ground and editor of Arboreal), Charles Rangeley-Wilson (author of The Accidental Angler and Silt Road), Andrew Burton (playwright), Peter Larkin (poet and author of Leaves of Field), Elizabeth-Jane Burnett (poet, curator and author of swims), and Jos Smith (lecturer at the UEA and author of The New Nature Writing). The event explores rivers and woodlands from a range of perspectives, with talks on natural history, conservation, nature writing and Roger’s own work, with readings by contemporary poets, and with an exhibition of materials selected from the British Archive for Contemporary Writing.

Event Details

Date: Sunday 30 April

Start Time:  13:00        Finish Time: 17:30

Cost: £25 (£15 concessions)

To book your ticket, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/zxp26xs