Book launch: Moving Mountains: Writing Nature through Illness and DisabilityWednesday 6 December, 2023 – Wednesday 6 December, 2023
6:00 PM – 7:15 PM
Online (via Zoom)
Join us for an online launch of Moving Mountains: Writing Nature through Illness and Disability, a first-of-its-kind anthology of nature writing by authors living with chronic illness and physical disability. The event will be hosted by the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities as part of Bath Spa’s Disability History Month.
Through twenty-five pieces, the writers of Moving Mountains offer a vision of nature that encompasses the close-up, the microscopic, and the vast. From a single falling raindrop to the enormity of the north wind, this is nature experienced wholly and acutely, written from the perspective of disabled and chronically ill authors. Moving Mountains is not about overcoming or conquering, but about living with and connecting, shifting the reader’s attention to the things easily overlooked by those who move through the world untroubled by the body that carries them.
During this event, editor Louise Kenward will be joined by contributors Abi Palmer, Eli Clare and Jamie Hale to discuss their work and celebrate the unique contribution the anthology makes to changing how we live with and write about nature and the body.
About the speakers
Abi Palmer is a writer and artist. Her work often explores ideas around queerness, chronic illness and multisensory intervention. Her debut book, Sanatorium, was published by Penned in the Margins in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize. Her writing has been commissioned by the Guardian, Wellcome Collection and BBC Radio 3.
In 2016, she won a Saboteur Award for her poetry installation Alchemy and in 2020 she was awarded a Thinking Time grant by Artangel. Palmer has exhibited at Tate Modern, Wellcome Collection and Somerset House. Her most recent work is Abi Palmer Invents the Weather (2023), a series of four short films that show her creating boxes for her indoor cats to experience the changing seasons.
Eli Clare is white, disabled, and genderqueer, living near Lake Champlain in unceded Abenaki territory (also known as Vermont in the United States) where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written two books of essays, the award-winning Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure and Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, and a collection of poetry, The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion. Additionally, he has been published in dozens of journals and anthologies.
Eli works as a travelling poet, storyteller and social justice educator. He currently serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Disability Project at the Transgender Law Center and is a Disability Futures Fellow (funded by the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation). Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention programme and helped organise the first ever Queer Disability Conference.
Jamie Hale is a queer/crip artist, curator, poet, writer, screenwriter, playwright, director, policy analyst and charity CEO, a cyborg kept alive by multiple machines. Their poetry centres on queer/crip perspectives of embodiment, nature, and mortality.
They were a 2021-22 Jerwood Poetry Fellow and in 2021 won the Evening Standard Director-Theatremaker of the Year award for their solo poetry show, NOT DYING, which has been performed across the UK and screened internationally. Their critically acclaimed pamphlet, Shield was published in 2021 by Verve Poetry Press, and they are working on their first full collection. They also founded CRIPtic Arts, an award-winning organisation committed to exploring, developing and platforming the creativity of disabled people, and in 2023 co-founded the UK's first Disabled Poets' Prize, which was awarded in 2023.
Louise Kenward is a writer, artist, and psychologist. Working for the NHS for much of her career, she set up ZebraPsych in 2020 with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of energy limiting chronic illness. Her writing has been widely published and is included in: Women on Nature (2021), But You Don’t Look Sick (2021), The Clearing, the BMJ, The Polyphony, The Unwritten and the Bookseller.
In 2020 she co-produced Disturbing the Body (Boudicca Press) and her essay commissioned for BBC3, Landscapes for Recovery (‘The Ocean as Mirror’), was broadcast in 2022. Between 2021 and 2022 Louise was writer-in-residence with Sussex Wildlife Trust. Currently undertaking a practice-led PhD with the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, Louise’s research explores post-viral illness through the landscape of the Romney Marshes. She is preparing her first full-length book, A Trail of Breadcrumbs.