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Explore Essays and memoir

The Want

Cyrus Simonoff

‘It’s often in the morning that the want is biggest. The want is to wake up, lazy and horizontal, and have it.’

On Diane di Prima

Iris Cushing

‘Sex flowed into art, art flowed into livelihood, livelihood flowed into poetry, poetry flowed into friendship, friendship flowed into sex. The entirety of this life was sacred.’

The Lye of the Land

Derek Gow

‘One in seven British species is now threatened with extinction. Many more, from the grey wolf to the blue stag beetle, are already long gone.’

Garden Time: The Palm Forest of W.S. Merwin

Robert Becker

‘This place, where the temperature drops noticeably as you walk into it from the road, survived William Stanley Merwin as equal parts oasis, stage set and work of art.’


Katharine Quarmby

‘In 2000 the Disability Rights Commission was founded, to push for equal rights for disabled people. It had a major job on its hands, listening to and acting on individual cases – access, transport, discrimination – and getting the 2005 Disability Discrimination Act onto the statute book.’


Isabella Tree

‘Never has there been a greater need for writers who can communicate about the environment in such clear, immediate and powerful ways, who can envisage the past as well as the future.’

Shifting Baselines

Callum Roberts

‘Younger generations accept as normal a world that seems tainted and degraded to older people.’

The Ard, the Ant and the Anthropocene

Charles Massy

‘I had somehow compartmentalised my mind: nature and my farm landscape stood either side of a deep chasm.’

Holding Up the Sky

Rod Mason & Charles Massy

‘Fire, wind, rain. We’re gonna meet all them three one day, all together, fire, wind and rain, all together one day very soon if we don’t do something about what’s happened and happening.’

Symbiotic Rootscapes

Merlin Sheldrake

‘Symbiosis – the intimate association formed between different species – is a fundamental feature of life and enables new biological possibilities. Mycorrhizal fungi are some of the more striking examples.’

Water Is Never Lonely

Judith D. Schwartz

‘This water isn’t irredeemably lost, after all. It has merely been waiting for companionship.’


Adam Weymouth

‘Salmon are the ultimate survivor. They’ve survived ice ages and cataclysms. But are they going to survive humans? It’s dubious, isn’t it?’

The Secret Loves of Flowers

Dino J. Martins

‘The flirtations of insects and plants are furtive, hidden and often so brief that if you literally blink you might miss what exactly is going on.’

Of the Forest

Manari Ushigua & Zoë Tryon

‘We Indigenous peoples know how nature works, how water, mountains, trees function and relate to each other, how stars in space are connected with the earth.’