What is it to be a woman and a writer in this world as it is now? Jaylan Salah shares the experiences of financial struggle, shame, the expectations of a female body placed on us by society and the freedom and catharsis of the imagination. Her recording was done in Egypt on Friday, in it, she shares what compels us to make what me make, the why that moves us, and the context in which she wrote her recent poetry book, Bury My Womb on the West Bank; the honesty of our lives in loss and hope, grief and peace.
Regine Bartsch is an artist who lives her art.
She was born in Hamburg, had a nomadic childhood living in Syria, Finland, Turkey, Germany and in 1978 settled in Ireland establishing her studio where to this day she continues to create work that is vibrant, emotive and rooted in her Buddhist practice. Bartsch’s work transcends the boundaries of current conventions and often reveals a nomad’s pleasure in sense of place. Her spirit is evident in the touch of her pastels, meaning is ignited by pure colour, viewpoint is offered by dynamic composition. Bartsch is a person who is international and local at the same time and has generously worked for many decades with the Irish arts organisation Cill Rialaig, Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre Dzogchen Beara and more recently with Aldeburgh’s South Lookout in Suffolk. Bartsch’s voice reflects the myriad colours, ideas and languages she embodies.
Alexis Wolf is a natural storyteller, true spirit, champion of women’s writing and has a boundless enquiring mind and curiosity for past and present. In this recording, she shares that first fizzing swim of the year in a city of 9.3 million people; and an extract from Body of Water, her recent chapbook, published by Two Plum Press and set between public outdoor pools in the UK and the mountain lakes of the Pacific Northwest. Whether she’s plunging into frigid water on her wedding day or considering ecological collapse while swimming through wildfire smoke, creating her own mikvah or dealing with chronic illness, Wolf’s journey in Body of Water makes you appreciate all the beauty and difficulty of being in a human body on earth.
Alexis Wolf is a Polish-American writer, teacher and academic, and lives in the UK, where she teaches and researches women’s literary history. She has an MA in Creative Non-Fiction and a PhD in English & Humanities.
Phoebe Cope is an Irish painter living in Scotland and is a multi talented person filled with great imagination and wit. She grew up as one of three children in Kilkenny on a farm and had a childhood that included donkeys, teetering piles of Georgian silver, Pomeranian dogs, politicians , poets and enormous Gunnera plants that threatened to consume the garden. She studied art at Oxford University’s Ruskin School and later lived and exhibited her work in London while attending the Royal Drawing School where she still teaches. Phoebe is undaunted by the complexities of making art while raising two small children, in fact she is thriving, and so is her work.
This morning, it is not just us waking. It is the end of winter, the beginning of spring. Sarah Watkinson takes us through this hatching of light, leaflets, chicks and buds: nesting tits feed their fledglings on newly-hatched moth caterpillars, there is a longer, stronger light and we have the sun’s brilliance. Now, after the Spring Equinox the North Pole is leaning towards the sun. Listening to Sarah, lines from Philip Larkin’s poem ‘The Trees’ come to mind.
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;Philip Larkin, The Trees
Sarah Watkinson is an emeritus research fellow in Plant Sciences at Oxford University with an international reputation as a mycologist. Her published work includes three editions of a co-authored textbook, The Fungi, with Elsevier, and numerous scientific papers. With Jenny Lewis at The Poet’s House Oxford, she organises SciPo, an annual event for Science Poetry.
From 2019-20 she was inaugural Writer in Residence at Wytham Woods, Oxford University’s own field research site, where previously she had carried out research on mycelial networks of fungi which recycle mineral nutrients retrieved from remains of dead trees. She lives near Oxford and in Northumberland. Publication of her prize-winning debut pamphlet, Dung Beetles Navigate by Starlight, by Cinnamon Press in 2016, followed a career as Lecturer and Researcher in plant sciences. Since then her poetry has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies.
Ermias Kifleyesus was born and raised in Ethiopia where he became an artist. The British Council saw his work when he was still a teenager and awarded him a grant in 1997 to study at City and Guilds of London Art School which was the beginning of his life in Europe. He received his MA from HISK, Ghent, NA in 2009 and currently works and lives in Belgium with his partner and two sons. Ermias works alone and in collaboration, he makes drawings, paintings, sculptures installations, films, street art, interventions and investigates relationships between individuals, ideas and cultures. He is a city person who prowls the streets and flea markets for materials and inspiration as well as working with the energy of community and politics. Ermias is a man of dignity, joy, generosity and deep thought and he has a profound respect for history and loyalty. Belgium is lucky to have Ermias Kifleyesus as one of its citizens.
Joan Edlis is a Chicago born garden designer and artist who thinks about the connections between the immateriality of sound and the materiality of the world. Her explorations include drawing, printmaking, objects, installations, video and sound. She has been awarded several residencies in places as diverse as Istanbul Budapest and the extreme west of Ireland These days Joan lives and works in Suffolk in an old pink cottage where she has created a superb garden of colour, scent and pleasures surrounded by a twelve foot high mixed hedge that is habitat for wild birds in all seasons. If you are visiting Joan it is not unusual to enjoy the swoop and cries of swifts who nest under roof tiles after looking for tadpoles in her minuscule pond while discussing the Latin names of rare plants that she has sourced and nurtured. Joan also grows impressively large pears, succulent strawberries and more. She is currently researching her cottage and village with the local history group.
Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate and author who lives in Vermont, USA where she known as The Radio Pet Lady. Tracie is also the prize-winning author of seven books including The Cat Bible, The Dog Bible, Pregnancy and Childbirth. She is definitely a polymath, a woman of courage and independence, linguist, traveller, tennis and pickle ball player, storyteller, superb chef, all in all a person of action, honour and humour. Listen to www.radiopetlady.com for all things related to pets and their people where one of her recent programmes was titled ‘Georgeous Reggae Music for Dogs (and us!) During Covied 19’.
Judy Allen is looking at a new plant, in a place where she’s always grown things she’s never grown before. She shares how this year has been a year of learning, of the balance and space between virtual platforms, technology; and tending the same patch of earth for the past 40 years.
Writer, Mentor and Tutor