Illustrating the poems of John Clare

From frozen January to the long hot days of harvest, from the bursting sweetbriar leaves of March to Christmas plum cake and elderberry wine – John Clare's 19th century poems known as the ‘Shepherd's Calendar’ reveal an eye that observed life with unparalleled intimacy.

Contemporary artist and printmaker Carry Akroyd is also known for her painstaking attention to detail, which is partly why she was asked to produce linocuts to complement a new edition of the poems. Caz Graham went to Northamptonshire to meet Carry and to find out why she’s long felt a special affinity with Clare.

The Shepherd’s Calendar is published by Carcanet and you can see Carry’s linocuts at the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre from 14th October till Christmas.
Carry Akroyd was on Woman's Hour last week (18th October), talking about the illustrating job she did on the Shepherds Calendar calendar. You should be able to hear it again at

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