New photography and poetry book celebrates Cornish places
23 March 2023
Students from Falmouth’s School of Communication and the Institute of Photography recently collaborated to produce 26 Places in Cornwall / 26 Tyller yn Kernow – a book of poetry and photography celebrating Cornish places and their richly resonant names.
In a quest to explore the history and legends around Cornwall’s place names, the national writers’ association 26 invited writers to visit and write about 26 places around Cornwall, some well-known, some well off the beaten track. Photographers then took the writers’ words with them to explore these places and inspire their own work.
The resulting book is a multi-faceted celebration of Cornwall and its richly storied culture, beautifully designed by a team of Graphic Design BA(Hons) students and featuring work from established local practitioners as well as talented Photography BA(Hons) and Creative Writing BA(Hons) students.
Between the pages, you’ll also find deeper explorations into the featured places and their names, as well as an introduction by Cornish language expert Kensa Broadhurst looking at how historical and linguistic change has shaped the names of Cornwall’s villages and towns.
Being able to involve students in collaborations like this is one of the best things about teaching at a multi-arts university. It’s a great way of challenging them creatively and gives them valuable experience of working on high-profile projects alongside professional practitioners. And the work they’ve produced is stunningly good.
Tom Scott, a writer and Falmouth University lecturer who helped organise the project, said: “Being able to involve students in collaborations like this is one of the best things about teaching at a multi-arts university. It’s a great way of challenging them creatively and gives them valuable experience of working on high-profile projects alongside professional practitioners. And the work they’ve produced is stunningly good.”
Julia Webb-Harvey, a Falmouth-based writer, PhD student and co-organiser of the project, said: “Like many people who live in Cornwall or come here as visitors, I’ve long been fascinated by the wonderful resonance of Cornish place names. There’s so much history and so many fascinating stories behind these, and that’s what we wanted to uncover.
“We’ve included places for every letter of the alphabet and in every part of Cornwall. Finding an 'X' was challenging but it turns out there is one – though it’s not at all easy to get to!”
The launch of the book was accompanied by an exhibition of the photography and writing at The Poly in Falmouth, and the show will be touring several other venues in Cornwall over the next few months. You can also buy the book at the Falmouth Bookseller or via the 26 website.
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Bursting with creativity, collaboration and industry connections, the School of Communication gives tomorrow’s storytellers the insights, skills and confidence to succeed. The department is home to Falmouth University’s creative writing, journalism, advertising and graphic design courses.