It is no secret that I love swimming. And writing about swimming combines two of my very favourite things in the entire world, so imagine my delight when swimmer and writer Tanya Shadrick put out a call for swim writing on Twitter!
Watermarks: Writing by Lido Lovers and Wild Swimmers is a collaboration between Pells Pool, the oldest outdoor freshwater public pool in the U.K. (I must make a trip!), and Frogmore Press and is the most perfect swim-filled anthology. Divided up into types of bodies of water – oceans and seas, rivers, lakes, pools and lidos*, it is such a delight to read. And I’m not the only one who thinks that! The collection was in the Top 10 books on Amazon.co.uk when it came out and is already in its second printing (!!)
My piece in the book is on lake swimming – and features my beloved Lake Ontario!
About the anthology:
Watermarks is a collection of new poetry, stories and non-fiction by lido lovers and wild swimmers: writers who find inspiration in or near outdoor pools, lakes, rivers and other wild waters.
Full of quick turns, graceful strokes and surprising dives into the depths, this is writing to make us catch our breath, laugh in delight or shiver a little.
Our call for new poetry, short fiction and life-writing celebrating the life aquatic was answered by swimmers at home and abroad. F Scott Fitzgerald wrote that ‘all good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath’ and all the writer-swimmers in the book had us hold ours a little too.
Lake Ontario. Skarðsvík. Isola Santa. Galway. Hong Kong. Trollhagen. In waters from around the world, we are immersed in birth and death, danger and rescue, new loves and last. Ness Cove. Spitchwick. Thurlestone. Sharrah. Swimmers closer to home take us places few know and less dare:freezing mountain pools, rivers in full spate where buoyancy is lost suddenly in froth and bubbles.
With work by more than fifty fine writers, the collection includes an extract from Alexandra Heminsley’s new memoir Leap In and work by Lynne Roper, the visionary West Country wild swimmer and former press officer for OSS who died in August 2016.
*Confession: I’ve only just, in the last year, learned what lido means!