About me

Peter_3For over thirty years until 2009 I worked as an academic at the University of Bath. I contributed to the theory and practice of action research; developed innovative education programmes in responsible business practice; and led a series of action research projects exploring sustainability issues. Post-retirement I completed the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, with the aim of addressing the crisis of sustainability through creative writing. In this eco-literature, or “nature writing for an ecology in crisis,” I draw primarily on my experience of the sea through sailing and of planting and nurturing a small orchard in Bath, still informed by ideas that influenced me as an academic.

My major concern is with the devastating and unsustainable impact of modern human activities on the biosphere. I know there are all kinds of good ideas around about how to make our society more sustainable – how to change our economics, energy production, manufacturing, consumption, and so on. But I believe there is a deeper question: it’s not only about what we do but how we experience ourselves. I strongly believe that any significant change toward sustainability requires a fundamental shift in our sense of who we humans are in relation to the planet that sustains us. We are, after all, part of it all: just another species, an ordinary (and extraordinary) member of the community of life on earth. But we don’t think of ourselves like that very often. I want to explore and articulate how we might create an in-depth and almost taken-for-granted experience of ourselves as participants in the fabric and process of the planet.

I have published articles and reviews in Resurgence and elsewhere; and completed a book The Call of the Running Tide, for which I am looking for a publisher. I am Professor Emeritus at the University of Bath and Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. A list of my academic publications can be found at www.peterreason.eu. I am also an active member of the Vala Publishing Co-operative.


  1. Charles McGrory says:

    Hello Peter
    I am enjoying your pilgrimage tale along the West Coast of Scotland. Getting out alone on a sailboat does allow the pure space for the soul to emerge.
    Just a wee suggestion. Perhaps you could title each photograph to assist the locus for the sailor and the non-sailor. And if possible, insert a very small rough chartlet for each passage leg. This might be useful if this log became one of your books.
    I have visited your Alva Cooperative, seems a good community venture. You might want to look at the Blurb self-publishing site which allows printing of MS Word. They have an add-in to MS Word that needs to be downloaded. This add-in then allows sizing of the book, preview and upload. They started out in the family album sector and have since expanded. Their website of options of other publishing process options is a bit jumbled since they have added their options as they have grown. They allow black & white, basic colour and full professional colour. The photos for upload need to be at least 300 pixels.
    I have no personal commercial interest. I intend to use them for my own projects.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Charles, thanks for your appreciation and suggestions. I take your point about captions for pictures and will see if I can do that in future. Of course the blogs were mainly on Coral at sea on an iPad mini with poor internet connections, so adding charts etc might be more complex than the situation allows! Charts are also very difficult to get clear. I don’t know if you have seen the charts in Spindrift–it took the artist Sue Gent a lot of painstaking effort to get them as clear as they are. P

  2. Peter – I was given a copy of your book for Christmas by an online student of yours – Dayle Ohlau – and just now finished. That I too have cruised extensively – mostly with Dr. Roderick Nash, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Studies at UCSB – mostly in the Sea of Cortez, along the coast and outer islands of Southern California, and a memorable twelve days passage in Rod’s boat “Forevergreen” from Ketchikan, Alaska to Seattle, WA – made your book resonate for and in me in many ways. Your references to Gary Snyder, Rilke, Berry and others complimented your work wonderfully. Thank you.

    • Scott–Thank you for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed Spindrift. Have always wanted to sailing the Sea of Cortez since reading Steinbeck, but I think that may have to wait another lifetime!

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