Two Rivers & the Sea: a poetic-visual essay by Melanie Ashby and Lisa Matthews inspired by Rachel Carson and the Northumberland coast (Literal Fish, 2016). Poet Lisa Matthews and visual artist Melanie Ashby together produced this print publication – a poetic-visual essay – as the result of a year-long collaboration spent by the North Sea creating a living journal and artwork-in-progress. The project involved a daily exploration and unearthing of sights, sounds, poems and artworks from Northumberland’s coastline during two-week residencies throughout the year in spring, summer, winter and autumn.
This book comes from their explorations but is not an environmental document: rather Two Rivers & the Sea is a collection of moments, epiphanies, of questions and uncertainties. It is a poetic response, and one inspired by both the Northumberland coast and a shared love of the writings of US marine biologist Rachel Carson – who famously wrote campaigning environmental book Silent Spring in the 1960s, but also wrote beautiful, lyrical books about the sea and shoreline.
“How very pleased Rachel Carson would be to have two women who also love the sea and the shore find inspiration in her life and in her words. This beautiful book explores the Northumberland coast and the great mystery held in the dramatic meeting there of land and sea. It is a coast Carson never saw but one which she intuitively knew.” Linda Lear, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature