The Learned Pig

Art – Thinking – Nature – Writing

Author: Camilla Nelson

  • Editorial: Radical Landscapes

    Editorial: Radical Landscapes

    Radical Landscapes takes its title from Harriet Tarlo’s seminal collection of British ecopoetries The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry (Shearsman, 2011) – a collection that came out in the penultimate year of my PhD devoted to Reading and Writing with a Tree: Practising “Nature Writing” as Enquiry, which was itself a radical,…

  • The Look Away

    The Look Away

      Although I cannot see them, I know they are out there. Hare. Fox. Raven. Each waiting to play their part. – Richard Skelton, The Look Away     A sense of ominous foreboding pervades The Look Away, the debut novel from Richard Skelton, musician, poet, and co-founder, along with Autumn Richardson, of Corbel Stone…

  • Natural Selection

    Natural Selection

    Freud would have loved this exhibition. Ostensibly Natural Selection – a collaboration between artist Andy Holden and his father, ornithologist Peter Holden – is about birds, nests and eggs. It’s actually about art, sex and death. As a philosophy undergraduate I was lucky enough be taught by the phenomenologist Dermot Moran. Phenomenology, he explained in…

  • Beauty and Revolution / A Token of Concrete Affection

    Beauty and Revolution / A Token of Concrete Affection

    Now is the time to visit Cambridge if you’re a fan of concrete poetry. At Kettle’s Yard is Beauty and Revolution, an exhibition of work by Ian Hamilton Finlay, while the Centre of Latin American Studies plays host to a group exhibition entitled A Token of Concrete Affection. Both are furnished from the private collection…

  • Arkhipelagos


    There is a sense of relief, upon leaving this exhibition, of being palpably bound up with pavement, sky and, a few short paces away, the murky heave and rush of the Thames with its welcome damp rising. A skeleton hull of a boat, displayed on the banks of the Thames, ghosts the space from which…



    When I first walked in, I didn’t get it. The walls of the first gallery are covered in neon orange paper. Obviously this was done for effect, but what effect, other than mild visionary discomfort, I could not think. And there was a man in a chair. Not a real man in a chair (although…

  • She speaks

    She speaks

        in a hoar frost, she said:   the weather’s made a Miss Havisham’s wedding feast of this wood the dark of bark and leaf is cobwebbed over the hoar has clapped white hands over all those breathing mouths the air nests whitely in the trees and waits like birds like words to be…

  • Untitled


      give me a coin for the slot machine sky, I said and she gave me the sun and the polka dancing stars were sequins on night’s black dress give me a coin for the slot machine sky, I said and she gave me the moon and the day was a smooth blue pebble give…