Andrew Motion is Homewood Professor in the Arts at Johns Hopkins. Between 1999 and 2009 he was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom. His latest book is Coming in to Land: Selected Poems, 1975–2015. (February 2018)


The Pencil of Nature

‘Icicles Frozen to Icicles. Midday Sun Warming the Bank Above Where I Worked. Causing Some Ice to Melt and Fall. Continued to Freeze in the Shadows. Cold Overnight. Still Intact the Following Day. Collapsed Two Days Later. Dumfriesshire, Scotland. 8 January 2010’; photograph by Andy Goldsworthy

Ephemeral Works 2004–2014

by Andy Goldsworthy


by Andy Goldsworthy
The British artist Andy Goldsworthy, who first made a name for himself in the early 1980s, has always been most strongly associated with the land art practitioners of his own and the previous generation. Although other figures haunt the outer ring of his inspiration (Brancusi with his smooth forms, Matisse …

He Saw the Marches Differently on the March

Rory Stewart in the Lake District, Cumbria, northwest England, 2011

The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland

by Rory Stewart
On the face of it, Rory Stewart is one of the sturdiest pillars of the new British establishment. His name comes trailing clouds of ancient Scottish glory. He was educated at two of the poshest schools in England (the Dragon Prep School and Eton College). He served for a short …

An Elegy for the Living

‘The Rising Moon, or an English Pastoral’; etching by Samuel Palmer, 1855

Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village

by Ronald Blythe, with an introduction by Matt Weiland
Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village gained “modern classic” status very soon after its first publication in 1969, for several good reasons. First, and most obvious: the writer Ronald Blythe conducted the fifty-odd oral histories that make up his portrait of a (renamed) village in rural Suffolk with an exceptionally …