In 2009, Richard Skelton published his first book, Landings, a deeply personal and unique response to the moorland landscape of Anglezarke, near his birthplace in south-west Lancashire, UK. Written over the course of half a decade, the book is assembled from a diverse array of materials: texts excised from his own notebooks and diaries are combined with excerpts from census and parish records, maps and historical treatises. The result is what Skelton terms ‘mosaic sequences of reclaimed fragments’ - discrete but connected strands forming an oblique and poignant testimony to personal grief, a meditation on memory and forgetting, a conjuring of the ghosts and voices of a landscape, and an exposition of the effects of the Industrial Revolution on rural lives.
‘One of the key works of 21st-century English-language landscape art/writing’. (Justin Hopper)
‘A pained record-keeping of the Anglezarke moor – a textual summoning-back of its lost and forgotten … litanies spoken against loss’. (Robert Macfarlane)
‘A sustained reflection on the nature of land and biography. … An idiosyncratic archiving of local topographies and the secrets they hold.’ (Martyn Hudson)
In preparation since 2015, this tenth anniversary edition of Landings contains expanded notes and commentary by the author, along with two new essays and six poems that, among other things, reflect on things lost now found, and the supra-lingual power of the photographic image.