Islay Book Festival: Mollie Hughes, Victoria Bennett & Alycia Pirmohamed – Welcoming Nature

Mollie Hughes, Victoria Bennett & Alycia Pirmohamed: Welcoming Nature
Chaired by Emily Arnold-Fernández

Gaelic College, Bowmore



When you live in the Hebrides, it can be easy to take access to nature and outdoor adventures for granted. But we are far from being all equal when it comes to our relationship with the great outdoors. Until recently, this was reflected in the literary genre of nature writing, long dominated by middle-class white men. Mollie Hughes, Victoria Bennett and Alycia Pirmohamed all debunk this stereotype in their own way: the first one by being a female mountaineer, adventurer and writer, the second by being a disabled nature writer as well as carer, and the third by being a young nature writer of colour. Come discover their truly inspiring work and life journeys.

Mollie Hughes is a world record-breaking sports adventurer, mountaineer, polar explorer and international motivational speaker. In 2017 Mollie broke the world record for becoming the youngest woman to climb both sides of Mount Everest and in 2020 became the youngest woman to ski solo to the South Pole. In December 2020 she was the first woman to become president of Scouts Scotland.

Victoria Bennett is a disabled writer, carer and mother. Her writing spans both poetry and non-fiction, and has received several awards, including the Northern Debut Award. The founder of Wild Women Press, she is a firm believer in everyone’s right to write their own story, and has dedicated much of her working life to nurturing spaces where people can do just that. Her debut memoir, All My Wild Mothers: Motherhood, Loss and an Apothecary Garden, is published by Two Roads (2023), and was longlisted for the Nan Shepherd Prize. She lives in Orkney with her husband and son. When not juggling writing, care and chronic illness, she can be found where the wild things grow, tending her apothecary garden.

Alycia Pirmohamed is the author of the poetry collection Another Way to Split Water (Polygon Books). Her nonfiction debut A Beautiful and Vital Place won the 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize for nature writing and is forthcoming with Canongate. Alycia currently teaches on the Creative Writing Master’s Degree at the University of Cambridge. She is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network and a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics, and the recipient of several awards including a Pushcart Prize, the CBC Poetry Prize, and the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.

Tickets: £5

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Saturday 31 Aug 2024
Gaelic College, Bowmore. United Kingdom