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A place, a writer, a text, or just something special about Devon. You can submit ideas about what might appear here just by emailing us.

In the meantime, if you are interested in making your own words, or just wanting to know more about books, visit Cyprus Well, the region's literary development agency and become part of the word-y community.

You can also visit the Centre for South West Writing at the University of Exeter, and find out more about the University's Special Collections here.

 

Charles Kingsley
(1819–1875)
image of Charle Kingsley

Kingsley was born in Devon at Holne, on Dartmoor, but moved away a few years later. He returned later in 1830 to the coastal village of Clovelly. He was a clergyman and writer, with a strong interest in nature, history, and social justice and reform, which is evident across his work.
Unusually, instead of a book being named after a place, the town of Westward Ho! is named after Kingsley’s novel of the same name. The novel’s beginning, is however, set a few miles up the coast in Bideford.

“Waterbabies” too, is said to have originated with his love of the coast, also
evident in his essay “North Devon”.

Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


Jenna Plewes

Jenna Plewes photo

Over Dartmoor on a Snowy Night

Across the high moor, sheeted for winter,
a solitary car snails through the falling snow,

its trail glistens briefly in the tail lights,
cats eyes, heavy lidded, glimmer ahead,

fistfuls of bright needles are swept by the wipers
into an endless tunnel of darkness

while sealed within, music rises and falls
weaving a magic of sunshine and warmth.

Jenna Plewes


dartmoor photo

Springtime on the Moor

Bluebells flow down the valley
pooling round clumps of gorse
incandescent among rocks
molten millennia beyond millennia,
age spotted with lichen, half buried in time.

Perched on warm granite
in a blue gold sea of sunlight and birdsong
I freeze frame the moment
before it joins cloud shadows
racing across the moor.

by Jenna Plewes

dartmoor photo

Dartmoor

The moor, bare-breasted and sun-soaked
lies lizard-like
watching buzzards swirling in the bowl of the sky

while tors, like silent druids
weave a magic
innocent in sunlight,
dangerous in the dark.

Shrouded in mist, she greets her ghosts,
whispering in lichen-bearded Wistman’s wood,
struggling in the lime green clutch of Cranmere Pool
stumbling from Princetown’s prison cells
to wander lost and lonely mile on mile,

the last to come
pacing the rows of standing stones
the ancient ones
walk in the mist and driving rain
casting no shadows while the sun is high.

by Jenna Plewes

 


 

 

 

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Wordquest Devon funders

 

Find out more about the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England who are the primary funders for this project. We're grateful for their support.

Wordquest Devon is a project of Devon Libraries, the University of Exeter, Cyprus Well and Aune Head Arts
managed by Aune Head Arts, a Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England & Wales No. 347853; Registered Charity No. 1141626
Reg. office: The Gallery, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EP
ph: 01364 72046  e: wordquest@auneheadarts.org.uk 

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