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Media centre home > News> Books and writing> [AUDIO] Off The Shelf - Dark River exhibition


As part of the city's literary festival, Off The Shelf, lecturers Carolyn Waudby and Michael Hutchinson have created an exhibition of words and pictures that celebrate the city's most historically significant river.

Michael and Carolyn visited the source of the Don on the waterlogged moors above Holmfirth, then walked the Sheffield stretch of the river from Middlewood to Meadowhall.

Michael's images are a combination of monoprint and collage, and are responses to locations along the Don, including the Dragon's Den above Wharncliffe Side and Salmon Pastures.

He said: “Exploring the river has given me an entirely new perspective on Sheffield. It feels part of the city but at times slightly secret and hidden.”

Carolyn found inspiration from the Don’s pagan past, researching the origin of names such as Wardsend and Neepsend, and also drew on the folklore of plants growing on the river’s banks.

She said: “This is the first time I’ve written about the city where I live. It hadn’t occurred to me to write about the Don as a number of renowned Sheffield poets have already done so – I had to find a new way of approaching the work.

“The project has taken me into new and exciting realms. Each of the poems is written in a different voice. One is of a corpse being conveyed to Warsend Cemetery – even the river itself has a voice.”

The exhibition, at Kelham Island Museum, is free and runs until 1 November. For more information visit