Marchelle Farrell

Uprooting

The winner of the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize is Marchelle Farrell for her submission Uprooting

This year’s shortlist was exceptionally strong, and the judges had a very tough decision. But everyone who read Marchelle’s work was blown away – from the in-house Canongate readers to the judging panel. Uprooting promises to be a powerful piece of non-fiction, one that will expand the definition of nature writing, which is exactly what the prize aims to do. Marchelle’s writing is strong, engaging and captivating, and we’re absolutely thrilled she’s won the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize and delighted to welcome her to Canongate.

Uprooting will be published by Canongate in 2023. Marchelle Farrell is represented by Julia Silk at Greyhound Literary.

Uprooting is the story of Marchelle Farrell’s journey, as a Black Caribbean immigrant to the UK, of seeking belonging in an English country garden. Seeking grounding in the plants around her, Marchelle begins to turn the lens of her psychoanalytic training on herself and what this new place seems to offer. As the seasons change, this personal reckoning begins to find resonance with the wider cultural tumult, from a global racial uprising, to the ever-present effects of the climate crisis. And as these synchronicities pull together the threads of her experience – a tropical childhood in Trinidad and a current life in England; the lives of both the Caribbean and British ancestors who came before; immediate family and the wider community – she begins to weave a new tapestry of meaning from the blossoms of the places she has called home. Uprooting asks us to reconsider our relationships to one another and to the living world of which we are part.

Marchelle Farrell – the Nan Shepherd Prize winner 2021

Marchelle Farrell is a gardener, writer and mother, born in Trinidad and Tobago, but having spent the last twenty years attempting to become hardy here in the UK. She has trained and worked as a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and is deeply curious about the relationships between our external landscapes and internal ones, the patterns that are reenacted in the human relationship with the land, and how they might be changed. When not neglecting it for the care of her young children, or her work in the community, she spends much of her time getting to know her country garden in Somerset, and writing about the things the garden teaches her about herself.

@afroliage / marchellefarrell.com

the 2021 shortlist

The eight shortlisted titles for the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize were...

Who Gets Nature? by Niellah Arboine
Common Place by Helen Baczkowska
Healing Ground by Rhiannon Bull
The Swallows Will Return Next Year by Izzy Dignum
Uprooting by Marchelle Farrell
A Teaspoon of Soil by Jennifer Jones
The Gaze That Hovers by Shauna Laurel Jones
The Selkie Papers by Grace Quantock

the 2021 Longlist

The longlisted titles for the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize were...

Who Gets Nature? by Niellah Arboine
Pilgrim at the Tree of Time by Nikita Azad
Common Place by Helen Baczkowska
HoodRat by Tia Bannon
Healing Ground by Rhiannon Bull
Wild Sight by Karen Jane Cannon
Q is for Garden by Jenny Chamarette
The Swallows Will Return Next Year by Izzy Dignum
Uprooting by Marchelle Farrell
A Teaspoon of Soil by Jennifer Jones
The Gaze That Hovers by Shauna Laurel Jones
slowly, slowly by William Keohane
The Rock Whisperer by Anjana Khatwa
The Ghost Lake by Wendy Pratt
The Selkie Papers by Grace Quantock
My Family and Other Folklore by E. E. Rhodes
Taking Root by Rachel Sloan
My Body is a Ritual / My Body is an Exorcism by Nicky Watkinson

the 2021 Judges

The judges for the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize were...

Ellah Wakatama, Rukhsana Yasmin, Alice Vincent, Jessica J. Lee & Adrian Cooper

Nina Mingya Powles

Small Bodies of Water