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Meet the authors who are writing about walking and the landscapes through which we walk, at walk · listen · create’s Walking Writers Salons. We are delighted to have poet and psycho-geographer Peter Finch join us in November, talking about “Edging the City” – his new collection inspired by his walks along the boundaries of the City of Cardiff.
Peter Finch is perhaps the foremost chronicler of Cardiff, past and present. His response to the 2020 lockdown restrictions confining people to their local authority area was to begin walking the boundary of his. This was in a mirror of his long walk along the south Wales coast recorded in Edging the Estuary.
The Cardiff border rarely appears on maps. The city no longer has walls (like York or Chester), or a modern transport périphérique like London’s M25. Instead its dotted line boundary travels across fields, along motorways, up rivers, through forests, over rail tracks and along miles of intertidal mudflats following the edge of the Severn. The border itself is made up of waymarked trails, city streets, highway liminal zones, woodlands. Mud-soaked tracks up hillsides, bridges, diversions, disentanglements and discoveries all play a part in this informative text created for walkers and armchair travellers alike.
Edging the City explores (often literally) why and where borders exist, their purposes, their love of water courses. It discusses other cities with walkable borders including York, Chester, London, Paris, Bruges and Seoul. It considers legal and geopolitical reasons for borders (the battles over placement of ‘Welcome’ signs, for instance), how they change and what happens when politics crosses boundaries. Cardiff’s medieval and other boundaries are tracked. The border is walked, run and sailed. Finch talks to ultra runners who have traversed the 50 plus mile route in a single day. He provides textual diversions on border history, north Cardiff trees, words for mounds, the mountains of Cardiff, the city’s coalmines, its triads, historical figures, battles, hill forts, poets, politicians, housing developments and other divertissements. There’s a city’s edge playlist which filled the author’s head as he strode available on Spotify. Edging the City is a view of Cardiff like no other, full of insights and discoveries.
For a complete archive of Peter Finch’s work: http://www.peterfinch.co.uk
The Collected Poems – in two volumes – out now from Seren Books
Edging The City – a journey round the border of Cardiff – from Seren Books
Edging The Estuary – a walk along the Severn Estuary – from Seren Books
Walking The Valleys – with photographer John Briggs – £14.99 due Oct 2022 from Seren Books
Walking Cardiff – with photographer John Briggs – £14.99 Seren Books
The Machineries of Joy – 1st book of poems in a decade – £9.99 Seren Books
Watch Peter Finch reading and discussing his work with his publishers here.
Walking Writers Salons are hour-long events in which you will get to meet a Walking Writer and learn from them how they weave writing and walking, and how they interpret their surroundings. Each Salon will include a discussion with the author led by Andrew Stuck, inviting questions from the audience, and will include a multiple choice quiz in which winners will receive prizes including e-books from publisher Seren, and print copies of WALKING (RRP €4.50) and WALKING HOME (RRP €4.99) our own limited edition illustrated chapbook anthologies of poems and prose.