One of Owen Sheers’ selected writers for the International Literature Showcase
‘In the wake of the UK’s EU referendum author and map-maker Garrett Carr walked the length of the Irish border with Northern Ireland, creating from his journey The Rule of the Land, a brilliant philosophical exploration and excavation of a specific border and all borders. Simultaneously erudite and anecdotal Carr approaches his subject both from across history and from within the immediate moment of his travels to produce a particularly timely and resonant travelogue.’ – Owen Sheers
Through mapping and writing, I consider how we shape landscape and are shaped by it.
Garrett Carr is a writer and map-maker. He grew up near Ireland’s border and much of his work focuses on the region. For The Map of Connections he charted unofficial and previously unmapped paths and bridges crossing the border, a process that was the subject of a BBC radio documentary. The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border was published by Faber & Faber in 2017 and was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. It is a portrait of the border its history, people and culture. Garrett is a regular contributor to radio, TV and the press. He lives in Belfast.
Garrett was part of a team that organised a Border People’s Parliament which was held in Belfast. Garrett composed a border manifesto with about 150 border residences. The manifesto, subtitled ‘A true account of a border and its people’ was launched on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. The manifesto is now part of a new exhibition of public art and activism on show in Düsseldorf’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen museum, part of in an exhibition called ‘Everyone is an Artist’. The Yellow Manifesto features alongside public works by Malala Yousafzai, Angela Davis, Michel Hourllebecq, Bob Dylan and more. It will also be exhibited in the Whitworth in Manchester and the Golden Thread in Belfast this year. You can take a look at the manifesto here. One online commentator called it a “poetry of reasonable voices.”
Praise for The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border
‘Great writing about landscape and history’ – Colm Tóibín, Guardian
‘It is Carr’s contention that Ireland is more divided than any of us suspected — not in two but in three: north, south and borderland. The third state is opened up in this marvellous book’ – Michael Kerr, The Daily Telegraph
‘As definitive an account of the line as you will ever read’ – Glenn Patterson, Guardian
‘Carr is an observant and courageous traveller, with a wide knowledge of nature, geology, archaeology, history, politics and people, and an easy, often humorous writing style that brings the sometimes reviled, often ill-reported Irish border region to vivid life’ – Andy Pollack, The Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland
‘Garrett Carr engages a mapmaker’s eye and a writer’s sensibility to create a great book’ – Patricia Craig, The Irish Times
‘I am delighted to have been selected for the International Literature Showcase, thank you to everyone involved. I look forward to getting started.’ – Garrett
Photo credit Enda Bowe