This page is for prose pieces based on the research I have done over the years to ground my poetry. My work is based on a practice I call ‘walking the territory’, involving close observation of and personal and social responses to my local environment. It focusses on the human relationship to the landscape, interrogating questions such as ownership and access, the relative rights of humans and more-than-humans and the anthropomorphic centring of human interests, the notion of ‘wild’, the ways humans use nature as a backdrop against which to project their own psychodramas, how we understand and transmit knowledge of the natural world – in particular whose knowledge, and what kind of knowledge – and the link between poetry and our understanding of the environment.
For almost forty years I lived in the ‘territory of rain’ – the Forth Valley, where all living is by negotiation/with flows and falls of water. But in 2021, I moved to a new housing estate in Glasgow, and began a new kind of creativity. The Place of the Fire is more built up and on higher ground than where I was, but there are still haggard spaces and green spaces, and room for herbs and for poetry – and other kinds of writing – more reflective, more considered, perhaps more inward and personal than some of the poetry. You will find links to some of these below.
My recent essay NeoGeopoetics: Earth-Based Poetics Beyond the Work of Kenneth White is on this site here
Two essays were published in Stravaig the online journal of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics. You can find
The Occasional Tang of Salt, an account of the Territory of Rain, in Issue 2 here
By the Book: Herbs, Creativity and Ways of Knowing, which came out of the research I did for Haggards, in Issue 6 here