Avon Stories podcast #19: Dru Marland’s poetry, art and life on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Dru Marland is a poet and artist who lives on a narrowboat on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

I went to visit her boat on a wet, grey day, and she told me all about her work and her life on the water, and about the community of canal-people.   We talked about how she started out as a poet, and the traumatic experience that lead her to become a full-time artist, as well as the beauties and difficulties of narrowboat life, from having to find a new berth every fortnight, to more prosaic issues like dealing with the mud, and a boat’s equivalent of plumbing.

During the podcast, Dru read me some of her poems, and we also talked about specific pictures she’s made, some of which you can see below – all pictures copyright to, and used with the kind permission of Dru Marland.

All rights owned by Dru MarlandThe West End of the Kennet & Avon Canal, by Dru Marland

Brunel’s Bristol, by Dru Marland

Jubilee Wood Wildlife, by Dru Marland

You can buy Dru’s art, including prints and cards, on her Etsy shop.

Dru’s books are available to buy on her small press site, Gert Macky.  The books she’s published so far are:

  • Inking Bitterns, an anthology of poetry about the natural world, from SouthWest poets, with illustrations by Dru
  • Hailing Foxes, an anthology of poems about Bristol’s wildlife, illustrated by Dru
  • Drawn Chorus, Dru’s A-Z of birds, with poems and pictures

If you want to know more about Dru’s life, you can read the book Richard Beard wrote (with her collaboration), Becoming Drusilla, about her transition.

Of course, you can also follow Dru on her twitter and facebook.


You can download this podcast directly from the Avon Stories Soundcloud, and sign up for all the future podcasts via the Avon Stories RSS and subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud to make sure you hear all the future stories.  You can also follow the project on twitter and instagram, for regular photos of the rivers and other waters in Bristol.


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