Join us for a series of events curated by Amy Sharrocks in collaboration with Barton Willmore, University of Reading, Museum of English Rural Life and Two Rivers Press.

There will be poetry along the river, children’s workshops, discussions and debates about city life in Reading, looking at how we use our river and tracing how water has shaped our thinking over centuries.

11 September 2017, 7.30-9pm


Crowne Plaza Reading, Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8BD

You are warmly invited for a drinks reception at the Crowne Plaza to talk all things water. This event offers space to build connections between researchers, artists, academics, scientists and town planners, to support ways to face unpredictable futures, to address questions of population tides and city structures and to consider Reading as a river city. Please join us to talk permeable boundaries and a more fluid economy within concrete city walls as we attempt a stronger collaboration with the water that surrounds us, and help us raise a glass to the breadth of talent and endeavour here.

16 September 2017, 11am – 12.30pm

Cry me a River: water as metaphor

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

We use water every day to describe our thinking and our feelings… our ideas dry up, we are flooded with emotion, we can go with the flow. Diverse writers and thinkers come together to explore the language of water from Roman times to the present day. From Virgil to Beckett and Ballard, from poetry to philosophy, this discussion examines the importance of fluidity in our thinking.

16 September 2017, 1-2.30pm

Murky Depths

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

A history of the Thames at Reading looking at the darker side of life by the water: crime, death, ritual and fear. Writers and researchers will take us below the surface of the river to what lies beneath and questions what we are journeying on, exploring what we try to keep hidden, alongside our fear of going out too deep.

16 September 2017, 3-5pm

Children’s Workshops

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

Exciting and hands-on workshop to support outdoor learning for children.

17 September 2017, 1 – 3pm

Children’s Choir

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

Information tbc

What’s the point of rivers, anyway? 3-5pm

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

We consider Reading past, present and future, looking at how the city has developed so far, examining the current state of urban water, exploring present challenges and future vulnerabilities. What do we want from our river? How can we negotiate water and concrete? We talk to swimmers, artists and urban planners about how to navigate a way through modern city life and how we might build great city living for all of us.

All talks and events are FREE and will take place in the marquee at Christchurch Meadows, Reading (except 11 September #RiverCity, which takes place at Crowne Plaza Reading)