Week 7: Words from the Wild


Hello everyone!
Welcome to another week of Words from the Wild creative writing and literature class. At the moment we are reading ‘The Stubborn Light of Things’ by Melissa Harrison and thinking about our daily interactions with nature. This week William has chosen pages 55 -61 as our focus. The following tasks are inspired by Melissa’s words and observations:

Task 1: (5 mins) Melissa talks about daily walks with her dog Scout and noticing the seasons as they change. In ten words write a description of walking through Autumn leaves.

Task 2: (5 mins) Mixed up nature! I couldn’t resist reading on from the first two chapters of The Stubborn Light of Things last week. Melissa discusses the interactions that she has with wildlife in the city and also the fact that Britain is now home to a few strange species that have escaped from captivity and are now successfully integrated into our nature. An example of this are Aesculapian snakes that have bred in Camden Locks and are helpful for controlling the pest population. Using one of the following titles write an imaginary news article on something mixed up in the natural world:

  • An Elephant seen swimming in the River Ouse!
  • The deer who thought she was a dog.
  • The Robin who only sings at night.
  • The Qwl who haunted the day.

Task 3: (10 mins) There are lots of initiatives to start re-wilding places in urban landscapes. I recently read a letter in York Press asking why the Racecourse meadow (the inner part of the field) couldn’t be re-wilded instead of mowed lawn. Apparently, it used to be a beautiful meadow of long grass that was home to many sky larks.

Imagine that the Racecourse has been re-wilded write about the difference that you see on a visit there and make comparisons to before and after.

Task 4: (5 mins) Daily Interactions. This week on my regular walks I enjoyed meeting crows. I photographed them from a distance and then made paintings and sketches of them when I returned home. Write about a daily interaction that you have with nature. It could be a lovely walk, or an observation of a particular species.

Hope you have fun with these tasks!

Best wishes,

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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