Penny Boxall appointed as Writer in Residence

A black & white photograph of Penny Boxall, who stands with her back against a tree trunk. Her face is turned directly towards the viewer, and she is dressed in dark clothing with a bright floral scarf and drop earrings.

The Wytham Woods Team are pleased to announce that Penny Boxall will be taking up the mantle of Writer in Residence for 2023-24. Penny is an award-winning poet who comes to us directly from holding the position of Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College in Cambridge, bringing a wealth of experience not only in her own creative output but also in helping others improve their writing.

Among her projects is A Book of Moss, poems drawing on the life of the botanist Richard Spruce (1817-1893). Her interest in often-overlooked ecological subjects will be tapped into during 2023-24 as she plans to work on a series of poems about soil ecology.

In addition, Penny will be developing an exciting collaborative project called Replaying the Tape, which will consist of a series of poems focusing on an 'imaginary menagerie' of animals which might have existed should the dice-throw of evolution have fallen differently. Inspired by Dr Frankie Dunn's research on pre-historic lifeforms, the project will include a live performance combining words with music written by composer Dr Jane Boxall, using a variety of sounds such as audio recordings taken in the field, tape manipulation of found sounds, and percussion.

Penny will be running public workshops throughout the year based around the idea of 'consequences', looking both at the chance-driven nature of life and the interconnectedness of the woodland ecosystem. These will start in October 2023 - details will appear on our Events page in due course.

Penny takes over from our outgoing Writer in Residence Alice Little, who will maintain her connection with the Woods as Associate Writer. Her innovations include the Wytham Writing Club and the Nature Book Club, both of which will continue, with Penny's input and support.

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01865 614460

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