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Contourlines is a unique anthology of new responses to landscape by some of our leading contemporary poets.
Landscape has been a prime subject of poetry and the visual arts for millennia. The way we see the world around us has been crucially shaped by the way it has been represented in words and images. For this remarkable new book poets and visual artists have been invited to reflect on landscape in all its forms: from the hills of New South Wales to the forests of the Hudson Valley, from Chilean mountainscapes to the English urban fringe.
The result is a collection which brings together an extraordinary variety of contemporary voices, and provides a rare opportunity to explore the natural and built environment through the words and perspectives of some of the most distinctive writers working in English today. Striking visual images have been chosen to offer new angles on the poems and the landscapes with which they engage.
Commissioned by Magdalene College, Cambridge, as part of the College’s year-long Festival of Landscape, and to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the University, the book reflects those traits of innovation and tradition, reflection and intellectual engagement, humanity and enthusiasm, of which the College is proud.
In a time of climate change and environmental degradation, Contourlines is a celebration of a resource at once precious and precarious, and of the rich interdependence of the land and the histories of the peoples who inhabit it. It will be an inspiring companion for all lovers of landscape and its poetry.
Contourlines includes poems by Gillian Allnutt, Richard Berengarten, Clare Crossman, Tony Curtis, Maura Dooley, Nick Drake, Ian Duhig, Jane Duran, Elaine Feinstein, Matthew Francis, John Greening, Philip Gross, Judith Kazantzis, Joanne Limburg, Michael Longley, Rod Mengham, John Mole, Les Murray, Gregory Norminton, Ruth Padel, Ian Patterson, Pascale Petit, Jane Routh, Fiona Sampson, Neil Wenborn, Susan Wicks, Clive Wilmer and Tamar Yoseloff.