James Crowden

Author Profile

James Crowden is an author and poet living in Somerset. Born in Plymouth in 1954, he was raised on the western edge of Dartmoor. In 1972 he joined the army and served in Cyprus travelling widely in Eastern Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and north west India. In 1976-77 he spent a winter on the northern side of the Himalaya, in the remote Zangskar Valley in Ladakh. It was from this experience that he developed a lifelong interest in agriculture and Buddhism. James has a degree in Civil Engineering from Bristol University and later studied ethnology at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum. At the age of 21 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


For the last 20 years James has worked in North Dorset and South Somerset as a shepherd, sheep shearer, cider maker and forester. The choice of manual work was deliberate and gave him a deeper understanding of the landscape.


James has now retired from working on the land and is writing full time. Over the last few years he has worked on many different projects, in particular with Common Ground. In 1999 he was made their Apple Day Poet Laureate and subsequently wrote a libretto for a major new environmental opera called The Silver Messenger which was performed in Christchurch Priory in July 2001. This was part of Common Ground’s three year Confluence Project with the composer Karen Wimhurst on the River Stour in Dorset. Recently James has worked on several recording projects for Year of the Artist and Somerset Now, as well as working on Foot & Mouth poetry with Devon photographer Chris Chapman.


James’s poetry has often been featured on BBC Radio 4 and television, as well as Literature Festivals at Dartington, Wells, Ludlow and Oxford. He enjoys working in schools and gives a wide range of poetry workshops, talks and lectures. Published in 2004 ‘Waterways’ is Jame’s latest book commissioned by the National Trust on rivers and canals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is part of the National Trust ‘Living Landscape Series’.

Website: http://www.james-crowden.co.uk/index.php?&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27

Cookbooks by James Crowden

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