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UEA celebrates works of nature writer Roger Deakin

A river flowing through trees

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is hosting a celebration of the late nature writer and conservationist Roger Deakin’s work at the Writers’ Centre Norwich on Sunday 30 April.

A pioneer of wild swimming, his book “Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain” (1999) – a journey when he swam in every stretch of water he found along the way -  changed opinion about access to the countryside and its waterways and established his name as a writer about British rivers.

Roger settled in Suffolk and his works feature his home, the local countryside and further afield. Both “Waterlog” and “Wildwood: A Journey through Trees”, which was published posthumously in 2007, strongly influenced “the new nature of writing”. He also helped to found the arts and environmental charity Common Ground and worked for Friends of the Earth in the 1980s.

Rivers and woodlands formed his two major themes and, in 2010, his complete archive was given to UEA’s British Archive for Contemporary Writing. As well as Roger’s own work, the celebration will feature talks on natural history, conservation and readings by contemporary poets, together with an exhibition of materials from the archive.

Speakers include Richard Mabey (“Nature Cure” and “The Cabaret of Plants”);  Katharine Norbury (“The Fish Ladder”); Adrian Cooper (director of Common Ground and editor of “Arboreal”), Charles Rangeley-Wilson (“The Accidental Angler” and “Silt Road”); Andrew Burton (playwright); Peter Larkin (poet and author of “Leaves of Field”); Elizabeth-Jane Burnett (poet, curator and author of “Swims”) and Jos Smith (UEA Contemporary Literature lecturer and author of “The New Nature Writing”). 

The event is from 1pm to 5.30pm and is open to all. Tickets are £25 (students £15). For more information or to book a place, go to the website