Mick Harney is a writer, photographer, and walker.
He has over 25 years experience exploring the fells of Cumbria in the English Lake District and the highest mountains in Scotland. In 2006, Mick completed his round of the 214 hills in Cumbria famously catalogued by Alfred Wainwright. He has summited over 100 of the Scottish mountains above 3000 feet known as the 'Munros'.
As well as his books on walking, Mick's poetry has been published in the magazines Dragon, Knee-Deep, and TaC, and won awards in the Lancaster Lit Fest and Vers Poets competitions. He was short-listed for the 2010 Bridport prize.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I’m British and was born in the city of Bradford in the part of Yorkshire known in those days as the West Riding. Latterly, we moved a little further north to live in Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. As you’ll see from the introduction to 'Contour Lines', both places deeply influenced my character and my writing. Skipton in particular is very much defined by the landscape within which it is set: it is a town of only about 20,000 people and there is no place within its boundaries where you cannot see the hills and the moors.
When did you first start writing?
Not so very long ago, I discovered an exercise book from my primary school that contained a short story I’d written about a spy landing from a submarine. We were encouraged to express ourselves at school so that wasn’t so much of a departure. However, I suppose the first concrete sign of identifying writing as an activity that was my own was when I began a notebook to record ideas in my late teens. There was a drive underneath that caught me by surprise: at university I took to participating in poetry open nights with my work and found I enjoyed it.
Mick Harney returns with more unique perspectives on fell and hill walking in Scotland and the English Lake District. He offers a fresh crop of new and compelling insights, including many detailed descriptions of individual mountains, the paths we take to them, and what they reveal to and about us.
Are you passionate about walking and climbing, perhaps in areas such as Scotland and the English Lake District? Or do you simply have a curiosity about those activities and those places? Points of Contact is the book for you.
Knitting geology, history, and meteorology into an illuminating exploration of the world of fell and hill walking, it is by turns descriptive, humorous, and poetic.