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Harriet Fraser
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Writer and creative project worker. Writing independently and working in partnerships and with groups. Married to the best person in the world, photographer, muse, mate, Rob.
Writer and creative project worker. Writing independently and working in partnerships and with groups. Married to the best person in the world, photographer, muse, mate, Rob.

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Doesn't take long for the new year to really get going does it? 2016 ended for me and Rob with seven days of walking, witnessing dusk and dawn at each of the seven trees of The Long View (read about that here).

Then the new year started, on January 1st of course, with another colour intervention. This time, Red, with the stencilling of shepherd's Hardwick Show Red onto the rocks around the Kentmere Rowan to spell out a short poem - there's a blog about that here: http://bit.ly/2jlRTPf.

More news soon on trips to the Yorkshire Dales to interview farmers and get a feel for the Dales landscape through winter, and meetings with climate change scientists and hydrologists ...
Back from the Dark Walks
Back from the Dark Walks
thelongview.today
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The third installation for The Long View turned out to be an amazing and uplifting experience - the sharing of around 270 messages of love and commemoration sent to the wind in leaves pinned to a winter tree. There's a blog about it here: https://thelongview.today/2016/12/08/from-the-heart-the-third-installation/
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Well, 2016 has whizzed past. I haven't been great at adding news here, so I'll give a quick update and then aim to post more frequently ... an early New Year's resolution.

The greatest focus has been working on The Long View with Rob Fraser - we're fifteen months into the project, repeatedly visiting seven lone trees in Cumbria. There has been a lot of walking and time with the trees in all weathers, day and night (and one long 130km walk between all the trees). We've been sharing our reflections through the blog; we've walked with over 350 people to the trees; shown a small selection of our work in Nottingham, in Cumbria through C-Art, and at London's Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) - and excited now to be able to confirm the launch of the full exhibition showing photography, poetry, real trees and installations, at the galleries in Grizedale Forest in June 2017.

I've had great fun writing a spot of poetry for The Woodland Trust, including a piece to mark the launch of the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People, and poems that you can listen to from within a giant acorn at Joyden's Wood. I've also continued my work with people who live with dementia, using poetry alongside visual art in the regular 'In The Moment' group in Kendal.

Another highlight has been walking and talking in the Conwy Valley: interviewing farmers, hydrologists, soil specialists and fishermen as part of work with a team from Lancaster and Bangor Universities and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on the Environmental Internet of Things (http://www.environmental-iot.com). An exhibition at the Royal Welsh Show, a booklet, language art, poetry translated into Welsh and many new friendships ... watch this space.

Following my time as Poet in the Meadow in 2015 in a quiet flower-strewn valley in Cumbria I have now completed a collection of poetry ... currently at the printers (the blog for this is at https://landscript.co.uk).

Then there is the start of a new project in the Yorkshire Dales, working with Rob and a team of fantastic volunteers, getting to know farmers and building a collection of photographs, audio recordings and writing reflecting farming and landscape today. There's an exhibition launching October 2017 in the Dales Countryside Museum at Hawes, where the material will be archived for future generations. https://dalesfarmers.co.uk.

Meanwhile I am bringing together the thesis for my MPhil in Creative Writing (University of Glasgow) and I'm loving it: my work presents a year in upland farming as an almanac and poetry collection, drawing on my time with upland farmers over the last four years and interrogating the view of farming that has filtered into public consciousness from writings shot through with romanticism and eulogy.

Right, that's quite enough for now. More will follow ...
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Radio 4 Women's Hour have picked up on the stories I've been collecting with Amanda Mortlock from Dare Projects - very exciting to know that some of the women we interviewed and recorded in the 'Red Tent' will be featured on the Radio. Tune in on February 13th - just in time for Valentine's Day! Women's Hour runs from 10am til 1045.

The stories have come about thanks to The Love Project. What a wonderful way to meet women of all ages and chat about the things that matter - love, loss, intimacy, passion.
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Has been an incredibly exciting week with the Land Keepers exhibition in place at London's Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in Kensington. The open evening on Tuesday was buzzing with conversation and enthusiasm, and well attended by our friends and family, our sponsors, farmers, academics, and representatives from Natural England, Defra, NFU, the National Trust, the Royal Geographical Society, the Beatrix Potter Society and the Federation of Cumbria Commoners and the Lake District National Park Authority. Huge thanks to Richard Leafe (LDNPA), Robin Milton (Exmoor farmer and NFU representative for the uplands) and Viv Lewis (FCC) for enlightening and thoughtful speeches. 

Just before the Land Keepers exhibition went up, I was at last weekend's Explore event at the RGS: brilliant! I learned a lot from others, enjoyed sharing ideas, and took part as one of the panellists on the writing panel. Will be back at the RGS next week to support Rob Fraser's i-porter exhibition and Porters Progress UK at their annual fundraising event. 
landkeepers
landkeepers
landkeepers.co.uk
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So excited to be gathering stories as part of a new project with Amanda Mortlock (Dare Dance). The Love Project begins in Barrow tomorrow: gathering stories about heritage and love from women of all ages. We start with older women and tomorrow will be in a specially designed Red Tent drinking tea and sharing stories with some local octogenarians.  
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Just wanted to share my recent delight after running a poetry session under the shade of a tree in the Leonard Cheshire home near Windermere; magical. We've been meeting for a few months now, and this group has now created eight poems. Just one of many ways I'm witnessing the power of the written word at the moment.

It's something that adds richness to my work which ranges from copywriting to my own poetry, and working with others so they can write their poems and stories.

(I haven't been using Google+ for long but will now try to post a bit more here for anyone who's interested).
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