From Source To Mouth: Walking the River Bann

Jordan-Baker, C. (Member of expert group), Cherry Smyth (Member of expert group)

Activity: External funding peer-review

Description

This project is a pilgrimage from the source of the River Bann to its mouth. Two writer/academics (Dr Craig Jordan-Baker and Cherry Smyth), with families from both sides of the river, will trace how the Bann bisects the counties of Derry, Down and Armagh, but also divides the region demographically and philosophically. Drawing on etymology, psychogeography, belief systems and contested cultural spaces, Craig Jordan-Baker and Cherry Smyth will spend twelve days, alongside or on the water, connecting to place as well as the wider tensions it evokes. While a river suggests a linear narrative, it is also, like language itself, part of a cycle of renewal and replenishment. Influenced by Alice Oswald’s Dart and Katrina Porteous’ Tweed, as well as William Gilpin’s Observations on the River Wye, our walking conversation would be enhanced by local interlocutors who would be invited to join us for parts of the journey. These would include an archaeologist specialising in the Neolithic fort at Mountsandel, an archivist of the linen industry at Banbridge and an ecologist from Bannfoot who protects the river’s biodiversity. The poetry and prose collaboration would be developed through a short residency at the River Mill (https://www.the-river-mill.co.uk/) and the initial phrase will culminate in a performance at the F.E. McWilliams Gallery with a view towards publication.
Period1 May 202130 Aug 2021
Degree of RecognitionNational

Keywords

  • River Bann
  • Psychogeography
  • Walking
  • Writing
  • Ecology