By: Rob Cowen, Nick Hayes
LONGLISTED FOR THE JAMES CROPPER WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING 2022
Take a journey filled with everyday beauty and wonder.
A year of looking, listening and noticing across four unique seasons and thirty-five beautifully illustrated poems.
‘Dazzling, moving… A book that will touch many, and be given often: here, take this, you must read this.’ Robert Macfarlane
‘A book about people, place and nature that’s impossible to put down.’ BBC Wildlife Magazine
The world changed in 2020. Gradually at first, then quickly and irreversibly, the patterns by which we once lived altered completely.
Across home and town, allotment and moorland, The Heeding paints a picture of four unique seasons caught in the grip of history yet filled with moments of wonder close at hand. A sparrowhawk hunting in a back street; butterflies massing in a high-summer yard as death rates rise; the moon overhead with a loved one held tight – the everyday memories that shape a life and help us recall our own.
The Heeding leads us on a journey that takes its markers and signs from nature and a world filled with fear but beauty and joy too. Collecting birds and animals, land and people together, it helps us look again, to heed: to be attentive to this world we share, to grieve what’s lost and together seek a better and brighter tomorrow.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOK ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS 2021
‘The Heeding isn’t a book. It’s a gateway into the place all of us have been looking for.’ Joanne Harris
‘A love letter to all that still remains for us to hold dear, to protect, to celebrate.’ Kerri ní Dochartaigh
‘I have clung to this book since it arrived, keeping it close, and the words have clung to my mind.’ Jackie Morris
‘Rob Cowen’s poems speak to us all, guiding us through the emotional journey the nation has gone through… Powerful, moving and brilliant.’ Stephen Moss
‘Visceral, achingly tender and with stunning illustrations by Nick Hayes.’ Dara Mcanulty
‘Luminously hopeful . . . The Heeding is an invitation to appreciate the gifts of the moment.’ Kathryn Aalto
‘So powerful, and rich, and true. Every line in The Heeding feels freshly discovered, full of urgency and clarity. This is an exceptionally moving and beautiful book.’
- Nick Drake, poet and author of Out of Range
‘A raw, dark and tender, visually stunning, emotionally unravelling distillation of the year in which minutes were endless but whole months disappeared. It’s all here.’
- Dr Amy-Jane Beer, author of The Flow
‘Writing that finds light in the dark… Poignant, powerful, pressing.’
- Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
‘It is rare to find a writer that is able to tease apart the threads that make up the fragile fabric of our loves, hopes and despairs with such care and humility. An exceptionally good book for an exceptionally bad time.’
- Matt Gaw, author of Under the Stars
‘Poignant and exquisite.’
- Lucy Jones, author of Losing Eden
‘A dazzling collection of words and images.’
- Helen Jukes, author of A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings