25/04/2011

Edgelands: "Wilderness that is much closer than you think"

BBC iPlayer, week of 15 April 2011

Author: Michael Symmons Roberts, Paul Farley
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780224089029
Published: 17 February 2011
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd

"Edgelands explores a wilderness that is much closer than you think: a debatable zone, neither the city nor the countryside, but a place in-between - so familiar it is never seen for looking. Passed through, negotiated, unnamed, ignored, the edgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps, places so difficult to acknowledge they barely exist.

"Edgelands forms a critique of what we value as 'wild', and allows our allotments, railways, motorways, wasteland and water a presence in the world, and a strange beauty all of their own. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts - both well-known poets - have lived and worked and known these places all their lives, and in Edgelands their journeying prose fuses, in the anonymous tradition, to allow this in-between world to speak up for itself.

"They write about mobile masts and gravel pits, business parks and landfill sites in the same way the Romantic writers forged a way of looking at an overlooked - but now familiar - landscape of hills and lakes and rivers. England, the first country to industrialise, now offers the world's most mature post-industrial terrain, and is still in a state of flux: Edgelands takes the reader on a journey through its forgotten spaces, so that we can marvel at this richly mysterious, cheek-by-jowl region in our midst."

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