Moving to the Marlborough Downs in late 2019, Kevan Manwaring decided to ‘map’ the area through poetry and art – connecting nodes of personal significance to create a ‘Wiltshire songline’. From March 2020 this project took on a whole new resonance during Lockdown, when movement was restricted to 30-minute local walks. Forced into exploring his ‘local universe’ in greater detail, this counter mapping became both an essential wellbeing activity, and a form of creative resistance to the invisible lines of restriction imposed on the open downland. This culminated in a poetry collection, Herepath, and talks for Storytown Corsham Festival, readings in Avebury, Winchester, and Bournemouth.
Dr Kevan Manwaring is the Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Arts University Bournemouth. His books include Heavy Weather: tempestuous tales of stranger climes (The British Library); Lost Islands (Heart of Albion Press); Oxfordshire Folk Tales (The History Press) and others. He has contributed articles to New Writing, Writing in Practice, TEXT, Axon, Revenant, and The Bottle Imp. He has written a series of literary walk features for Cotswold Life magazine, and is the psychogeography editor for Panorama: the journal of intelligent travel.