ClimateCultures Reviews

We regularly review fiction and non-fiction books as well as events and other resources. Here is an updated list of reviews to date (most recent posts at the top of each category), from Clare Crossman, Nancy Campbell, Mark Goldthorpe, Sally Moss and James Murray-White:


— Fiction

The Gift of Stories

Jim Crace’s 1988 novel, The Gift of Stones, set at the end of the Stone Age, on the cusp of change that accelerated us headlong into a new world. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (25/6/18).

The Colour of Flamboyant Flowers

Jean Rhys’ novel of alienation, displacement, colonialism and the ‘othering’ of difference of race and gender, told in multiple voices: Wide Sargasso Sea. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (29/4/18).

Stalking the Impossible 

Geoffrey Household’s brilliant 1939 combination of thriller and landscape writing: Rogue Male. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (31/1/18).

What Use is Grief to a Horse? 

“One great thing about being in the adjustment business: you’re never short of customers.” Equus, Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (27/10/17).

A People of the Fall

The Inheritors, William Golding’s 1955 classic reimagining of the lost world of the Neanderthals. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (30/5/17). 

Bringing Our Monsters Back Home

Grendel, John Gardner’s haunting 1971 novel revisits the ancient tale of Beowulf and speaks to us about ‘Othering’ the natural world, and how our monsters insist on coming back in. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (3/4/17)

— Non-fiction

Queer River and Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place

Iain Biggs’ Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place: Geopoetics, Deep Mapping and Slow Residencies (2021), and resonances with projects exploring the value of outsiders’ viewpoints and voices not often heard in discussions on the Earth Crisis. reviewed by James Aldridge (23/9/21).

Bringing It All Back Home

Dara McAnulty’s Diary of Young Naturalist (2020), a remarkable testament to love for the natural world and a key to finding a sense of living in and caring for it as our shared home. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (8/6/21).

A Year of Wonders Under a Circling Sky

Neil Ansell’s The Circling Sky (2021), an account of a year-long immersion in England’s New Forest, is both a guidebook to close observation and a reflective elegy to place and belonging. Reviewed by James Murray-White (16/1/21).

Owned by the Wood in Winter

John Lewis-Stempel’s The Wood in Winter (2016) is elegant exploration of life — wild nature and human — in the harshest season, and offers an Anthropocene question: who owns the land? Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (31/12/20).

Rising — Endsickness and Adaptive Thinking

Elizabeth Rush’s Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore (2018) reveals a contemplation of transience, connection and the possibilities of resilience, through her close examination of the experiences of climate and coastal change in America’s wetlands. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (25/3/19).

“Attending to the World’s Extraordinary Surprise” 

Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky’s Learning to Die: Wisdom in the age of climate crisis (2018) —  a captivating and challenging read that urges the cultivation of human virtues in a time of crisis and the rejection of lazy thinking. Reviewed by James Murray-White (19/2/19).

“Firestone Far Beneath Our Feet”

Cornerstones – subterranean writings (2018, edited by Mark Smalley) — a new collection of writing explores how all landscapes — from Dartmoor to the Arctic Circle — begin below the surface of the earth. Reviewed by James Murray-White (8/1/19).

The Mirrored Ones  

Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (2018, edited by Gregg Mitman, Marco Armiero and Robert S Emmett)  an important and absorbing book whose collection of objects offers a mirror test for our supposed ‘Age of Human’, reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (19/12/18).

Reading Nature’s Archives in the Library of Ice

Nancy Campbell’s The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate (2018), vividly combining memoir, scientific and cultural history with accounts of landscape and place. Reviewed by Sally Moss (5/11/18).

Energetic: Exploring the past, present and future of energy

Energetic, a wide-ranging collection of essays, photography, creative pieces and interviews from the Stories of Change project (edited by Joe Smith and Renata Tyszczuk, 2018). Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (6/8/18).

In the Path of Its Beam

Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, the classic 1974 account of her life in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (15/3/18)

Anticipatory History

Anticipatory history, a collection of short essays exploring key terms and themes in landscape and wildlife change (edited by Caitlin DeSilvey, Simon Naylor & Colin Sackett, 2011). Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (13/8/17). 

— Poetry

All the Little Gods Surrounding Us

All the Little Gods Surrounding Us, a collection of poems and images from ClimateCultures member Jame Roberts, is a creative expression of the natural world’s ‘being-ness’ and a way for us to deepen our own presence within the more-than-human. Reviewed by James Murray-White (13/7/20).

An Invitation to Act: Letters to the Earth

Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis, a collection of poems, essays and other letters offered in response to a public call in April 2019 that was inspired by Extinction Rebellion actions and Global Youth Strikes (2019, edited by Anna Hope, Jo McInnes, Kay Michael and Grace Pengelly). Reviewed by Clare Crossman (14/2/20).

Out of Range

Out of Range (2018), ClimateCultures Member Nick Drake’s new collection, celebrates proximity and distance — spatial, temporal or emotional — to remark on the state we’re in, and take the reader on a journey through known worlds and into unknown ones. Reviewed by Nancy Campbell (24/1/19).


— Exhibitions

“Summon the bravery!” Encounters at Small Earth

Small Earth, a November 2018 conference for psychotherapists, ecologists, economists, philosophical and spiritual thinkers to address hope for future living within the ecosphere. Reviewed by James Murray-White (30/11/18).

Of Fire, Ice & Earth

Fire & Ice, a 2017 exhibition by photographers Gina Glover & Jessica Rayner and potter Hilary Mayo, at GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn. Reviewed by James Murray-White (10/11/17).

— Performances

Climate Conversations to Save the World

An online performance of Coney’s How We Save The World. Reviewed by Matt Law (10/3/21).

“Water’s Rising, at Their Ankles Now…”

James Phillips’ play Flood, produced by Slung Low at Hull, City of Culture 2017. Reviewed by James Murray-White (10/10/17).

— Workshops

Conserve? Restore? Rewild? Ecopoetics and Environmental Challenge

Conserve? Restore? Rewild? Arts and Ecopoetics Rise to the Challenge, a one-day event on our responses to environmental crisis at GroundWork Gallery in Kings Lynn, September 2018. Reviewed by James Murray-White (11/9/18).

The Art of Noise

ClimateSymphony Lab, a one-day workshop to develop a musical performance from climate change data, organised by Disobedient Films at ArtsAdmin in London in June 2017. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (23/6/17). 

On Night in the Daytime

The Night Breathes Us In: a day and night of explorations, provided by The Dark Mountain Project as part of Outrider Anthems’ year-long Festival of the Dark in Reading. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (30/3/17).

TV & Radio broadcasts

A Questionable Shore

Into the Wind, a poetic film by Richard Alwyn for BBC, following writer and naturalist Tim Dee as he explores the edgelands of the Wash, in search of a pure wind. Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (15/4/17).


Taking the World for a Walk

The Deep Time Walk app, from Reviewed by Mark Goldthorpe (14/7/17). And in Unpacking Deep Time in Our Living Present (14/5/19) Mark also reviewed the latest addition to accompany the app: an attractive and engaging set of cards that explores our planet’s 4.6 billion year timeline and offers us thoughtful paths into the living present.