About the tutors
Core areas of expertise: “I studied English Literature and Philosophy at UEA, and Sculpture at Norwich Art School. I think this background makes me quite an open writer, interested in many things. Every book I write is an attempt to better understand a facet of the world that I’m curious about. At the moment, for example, I’m writing a book named Overnight, an exploration of nocturnal operations which replenish, repair and protect the world whilst most of us are asleep.”
Notable works: His first book, Holloway, co-authored with Robert Macfarlane & illustrated by Stanley Donwood, was a Sunday Times Bestseller (Faber, 2013). The Beechwood Airship Interviews, a book about art and creative process was published by HarperCollins in 2015. Climbing Days (Faber, 2016) a mountaineering memoir, saw him set out in the footsteps and hand-holds of his great-grand-aunt and uncle, Dorothy Pilley and I.A. Richards, on peaks across Europe.
Dan’s fourth book, Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth (Canongate, 2019), explored of the appeal and pull of far-flung shelters in mountains, tundra, forests, oceans and deserts; landscapes and which have long inspired adventurers, pilgrims, writers, and artists. He has written about travel and culture for various newspapers and magazines including The Economist, Guardian, Harpers Bazaar, Daily Telegraph, Monocle and Caught by the River.
What’s great about the course?“Both the CNF courses I run are full of writing and writers I love, and each new cohort of students brings something new to the mix so the teaching is ever-changing. I’m always adding new books and voices to the curriculum so the programme always feels fresh and contemporary.
“I love the sense that I’m allowing fellow writers to realise their potential and introduce them to texts that may change their thinking, process and lives as a whole. I think people genuinely love the breadth of the reading. The first module introduces books that push and challenge and delight in their eclecticism — Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, A Fortunate Man by John Berger and Jean Mohr, Sea State by Tabitha Lasley — it’s as Susan Sontag said, curiosity is key: ‘Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager.”