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Wild Bones: Victoria Bennett x Kerri ní Dochartaigh on place, nature & change

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Victoria Bennett x Kerri ní Dochartaigh

A sunday celebration of two bold feminist writers, whose work is rich and rooted, expansive and experimental.

Kerri ní Dochartaigh & Victoria Bennett join us for a discussion of nature and place that reflects the contemplative and thought provoking take both have on bigger picture issues: motherhood, grief, conflict, community, place and change.

Equally meditative and stirring, Kerri ní Dochartaigh's Cacophony of Bone is a stunning chronicle of the pandemic year reflecting on nature, human relationships and the meaning of home. Kerri maps the circle of a year - a journey from one place to another, field notes of a life - from one winter to the next. It is a telling of a changed life, in a changed world - and it is about all that does not change. All that which simply keeps on - living and breathing, nesting and dying - in spite of it all. When the pandemic came time seemed to shapeshift, so this is also a book about time. It is, too, a book about home, and what that can mean.

Fragmentary in subject and form, fluid of language, this is an ode to a year, a place, and a love, that changed a life.

An intimate weaving of memoir and herbal folklore, Victoria Bennett's All My Wild Mothers is a story of rewilding our wastelands and the transformation that can happen when we do.

At seven months pregnant, Victoria Bennett was looking forward to new motherhood and all that was to come. But when the telephone rang, the news she received changed everything. Her eldest sister had died in a canoeing accident. Five years later, struggling with grief, the demands of being a parent-carer for her young son, and the impact of deeper austerity, life feels very different to the future she had imagined. A move to a new social housing estate in rural Cumbria offers Victoria and her family a chance to rebuild their lives. Constructed over an industrial site, at first the barren ground seems an unlikely place to sow the seeds of a new life. She and her son set about transforming the rubble around them into a wild apothecary garden. Daisy, for resilience. Dandelion, for strength against adversity. Red campion, to ward off loneliness. Sow thistle, to lift melancholy. Borage, to bring hope in dark and difficult times. Stone by stone, seed by seed, All My Wild Mothers is the story of how sometimes life grows, not in spite of what is broken, but because of it.

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