Festival poetry trail brings magic to the riverside

river small

Walk an enchanted path along the River Avon this summer as you follow a brand new  poetry trail inspired by the river and created by five of Bristol and Bath’s most respected poets.

Each poem has been written in response to a particular site on the riverside from Bristol to Bath and will be displayed at the site on a specially engraved wooden board. Poems can also be downloaded in audio form so you can listen to them in the very place they were written. Even if you can’t reach the trail itself, you can transport yourself to the riverbank by downloading the audio from the Festival website.

The poets taking part are Holly Corfield Carr, Carrie Etter, Andrew F Giles,Tania Hershman and Jack Thacker.

Award-winning writer Tania told us how she approached the writing of her poem ‘How to be Here’, created in response to the river at Keynsham Locks:

Tania Hershman

Tania Hershman

“I have never written a site-specific poem – or short story! – before, and I don’t think I have ever consciously written a “nature poem” either, so I was a little daunted. The fact that I got lost trying to find the site I was assigned to (entirely my fault and emphasizing that it’s best to approach through nature on foot rather than by car) led me to write a poem that was less about nature than about me and my difficulties finding it!

“A wise friend I showed this to said that it wasn’t really a “poem of occasion”, and hearing that phrase helped me come up with a poem I was really happy with and that is something much closer to a “nature poem”, I think. It doesn’t really matter what anything is called, though, but that this commission asked me to see my world differently and respond to it. I hope those who read and listen to it find something in it for themselves too, and enjoy the spot where it is located.”

Go to the Poetry Trail page to read full biographies of all the poets and for details of the trail. Poems will be available on the website from June 10.

The Festival of Nature poetry trail is kindly sponsored by Arts Council England and Bath and North East Somerset Council.