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This live discussion took place on Tuesday 18th August.

If you missed it, or would like to watch it again, a recording of the discussion is available to watch below.

Nature writing beyond 2020 – Tuesday 18th August 4-5pm

Amy Jane Beer

The burgeoning of nature writing over recent years has seen the offering of books and digital media content increase from a special interest niche to a section worthy of dedicated bookshop displays, new journals and literary prizes. There is arguably no bigger subject than nature, so where, if anywhere, are the limits for the ‘genre’? And in this year like no other, how will writers respond to what feel like seismic shifts in our view of the more-than-human world and our place in it? Nature writer Amy-Jane Beer convenes and chairs a panel sparking with extraordinary talent, vision and expertise (including two authors on the shortlist for the 2020 Wainwright Prize) to address these questions and many more.

Our panel is:

Kathryn Aalto, Jini Reddy and Dara McAnulty

Kathryn Aalto

Kathryn Aalto is an American writer, historian, and designer focused on the natural world.@kathrynaalto

For the past twenty-five years, her creative practice has fused nature and culture: teaching the literature of nature and place, designing artful and sustainable gardens, and writing about the natural world. She travels widely as a keynote speaker throughout North America and Britain.
“In writing, speaking, and design,” Kathryn says, “There are rich opportunities to create compelling narratives — one with words, the other with plants.”
Kathryn is the author of three books including The New York Times bestseller, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood (2015) and Nature and Human Intervention (2011). Her third book is Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Women Who Shape How We See the Natural World (Timber Press, June 2020). Her essays have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, Outside, Sierra, Buzzfeed, Devon Life, and more. She is currently working on her fourth book.

Jini Reddy

Jini Reddy is an author and journalist.@Jini_Reddy

Her new book Wanderland (Bloomsbury) was published at the end of April. Her first, Wild Times(Bradt), came out in 2016. She was also a contributor to Winter (Elliot & Thompson). Wimbledon- based, she was born in London to Indian parents who grew up in South Africa, and was raised in Montreal, Canada. Jini has a passion for writing on travel, (more eco-spiritual) nature and life, generally – her byline has appeared variously in The Guardian, The Independent and the ipaper, The Times, Sunday and Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Style, The Financial Times, TIME, National Geographic Traveller, BBC Wildlife, Resurgence & The Ecologist and many other publications.


Dara McAnulty is a 16 year old autistic naturalist, campaigner and author @naturalistdara

His book “Diary of a Young Naturalist” chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.”


This live discussion took place on Tuesday 18th August.

If you missed it, or would like to watch it again, a recording of the discussion is available to watch below.


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