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

#RiverCity

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.

Register for free ticket

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 artists come together to explore the language of water throughout history to the present day. From poetry and satire to philosophy and live art, this discussion examines the importance of fluidity in our thinking and looks at the materiality and immateriality of ecological relationships.

Speakers: Paddy Bullard, English scholar and literary historian, University of Reading; Mary Patterson, writer and artist; Lisa Woynarski, Lecturer in theatre, University of Reading.

16 September 2017, 12.30 pm – 2pm

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.

Speakers:-

  • Dr Andrew Mangham, author and literary critic
  • Dr Emma Aston, Head of Classics, University of Reading
  • Becci Louise, writer and performer
  • Facilitated by Amy Sharrocks

16 September 2017, 2-3pm

Creatures of the Deep – children’s poetry workshop

A wildly imaginative Children’s Poetry Workshop with Becci Louise, a Reading-based writer and, performer and educator. Remembering the Northern Bottlenose Whale who swam up river into the Thames, Becci will take us on a tour of extraordinary deep sea creatures, exploring different water habitats and experiences, helping children to write their own poetry and dive deeper into their own imaginations. The session is free, but participants must arrive at the start. Ages 5+

16 September 2017, 3-5pm

Jelly Children’s Workshop – Majestic Swans

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

Collage, stick, colour and draw, children of all ages are invited to join award winning Jelly and their team of artists to create artwork inspired by the River Thames most majestic resident – the swan.  Drop in anytime between 3pm and 5pm. At busy times you may have to wait for a space at the craft table.

17 September 2017, 1 – 3pm

Jelly Children’s Workshop – Majestic Swans

Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY

Collage, stick, colour and draw, children of all ages are invited to join award winning Jelly and their team of artists to create artwork inspired by the River Thames most majestic resident – the swan. Drop in anytime between 1pm and 3pm. At busy times you may have to wait for a space at the craft table. All ages.

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.

Speakers:-

  • Joanna Clark, Director Loddon Observatory, Associate Professor Geography & Environmental Science, University of Reading
  • John Haxworth, Design Partner, Barton Willmore
  • Sefryn Penrose, archaeologist, UCL
  • Amy Sharrocks, artist
  • Jeremy Wellingham, Assistant Lock Keeper & swimmer of non-tidal Thames

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)