GREENWRITING by Katy Bentall
100 x 140mm, 192 pages, Colour printing, Perfect bound, Softcover, Ed. of 500, 2022
“Today on my ridge walk I go as far as the river, turning off down the secret path. I am going to see Peter’s boat. There it is, like a crocodile. I think twice before stepping onto it, but if I am to get close to the water without my feet disappearing into the squelchy grey mud, I must. Sitting in the boat, leaning over and watching my reflection; taking off my shoes and walking back barefoot. That’s me.” And barefoot goes Katy Bentall through “Greenwriting,” a collection of her drawings, watercolors, poems, and prose-poetry dispatches from this patch of the Polish countryside. “Greenwriting” unfolds from room to room in Katy’s wooden house, climbing the staircase between the boiler in the basement and the atelier under the roof. From the vantage of her patio and a ritual footpath, Katy explores the landscape around the house, which is tucked against the base of an escarpment between riverbanks and orchards thick with neighbors. And she whisks the reader to the marketplace in town, where we meet mainstays like Pear Man and Oregano Lady, Thyme Lady and Honey Man, purveyors of produce and snippets of local news. The result is an intimate mapping of a small world richly populated by rooted locals (some booted, some hoofed) and wayfaring seeds and birds; and the contemplative diary of a poet-artist transplanted from England seeking to closely observe and document the lived environment around her.