The Orvis Stockbridge store is set to host two world-renowned authors, David Profumo and Mark Wormald, for an exclusive reading and signing of their recently released books on 17th June.
From 4.30pm on 17th June, customers will be welcomed with a drink from sponsors Test Valley Distillery to come and meet David Profumo and Mark Wormald ahead of their readings which will begin at 6pm.
Copies of both The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and the Pursuit of Paradise by David Profumo and The Catch: Fishing for Ted Hughes, by Mark Wormald, will be available to purchase and signed by the authors.
David Profumo is a former Fishing Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, and now the longstanding ‘Reel Life’ columnist in Country Life magazine. He caught his first fish in Scotland some sixty years ago, and since then has swum his hooks in forty different countries. He was co-editor (with Graham Swift) of the classic angling anthology, ‘The Magic Wheel’, and wrote ‘In Praise of Trout’ (to which Ted Hughes contributed the Foreword). His journalism has appeared in many of Britain’s national papers, and in a wide number of magazines both here and abroad – ranging from The British Medical Journal to the Newsletter of the Kiribati and Tuvalu Philatelic Society. He is the author of two novels, and the best-selling family memoir Bringing The House Down. In 1996 David was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
His latest book, The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and the Pursuit of Paradise was published in May 2021 by Scribner and was launched in paperback on 28th April 2022. It is a dazzling work around the restorative power of nature and finding joy in simple pleasures.
Mark Wormald has been fishing since the age of four. He is an award-winning poet, winning the Newdigate Prize at Oxford in 1998 and an E. C. Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1995.
Mark has been a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, since 1992. His first office was once the bedsitting room in which Ted Hughes dreamed of a burned fox. Mark edited Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers for Penguin Classics and more recently co-edited two collections of essays: Ted Hughes: From Cambridge to Collected (2013) and Ted Hughes, Nature and Culture (2018). He is Chair of the Ted Hughes Society.
In 2019 Mark co-organized an international conference in Cambridge on the Atlantic salmon, ‘Owned by Everyone: the plight, poetry and science of the salmon’, inspired by Ted Hughes’s writing and advocacy on behalf of the king of fish; a second conference on the culture, science and vulnerability of our chalk streams, this time with the title ‘Owned by Everyone?’, will take place in Cambridge in March 2023.
Mark will give an exclusive reading from his new book The Catch: Fishing for Ted Hughes, which was published by Bloomsbury on 28th April. ‘The Catch’ tells the story of Ted Hughes’ journey, as a fisherman, poet and father, into and beyond his vital collection ‘ River’, and chronicles Mark’s own journeys, fishing in Ted’s footsteps, his fishing diaries in mind, into the poems of River and other deep waters.
Looking forward to the event, the authors reflected on their connections with the River Test...
David Profumo said “Ever since I first visited the fabled Test (some fifty years ago, now) it has flowed through my imagination and my fishing life; and every time I come near its banks I still feel thrilled and somehow replenished.”
Mark Wormald said ‘Dermot Wilson inducted Ted Hughes into the delights of chalk stream fishing for brown trout in 1985. David Profumo, who fished with both Dermot and Ted, and for whom Ted would later write a foreword to David’s marvellous In Praise of Trout, somehow wangled me my first day on the Test thirty years on, on the very beat where Ted had fished with Dermot and Piggy Spooner. The Poet Laureate, fresh from deep salmonising on Tweed, had that day demonstrated a state of the art folding trout net for the next edition of Fishing the Dry Fly.
Fishing as faithfully as I have, these last ten years, in Ted Hughes’s footsteps, mostly in Devon, Scotland and Ireland, I’m still very much a chalk stream novice. So I’m as thrilled as I am daunted to be joining the doyen of our fishing writers at fishing tackle’s equivalent of Paradise – an emporium that can trace its lineage back to Dermot’s Nether Wallop Mill -- and within yards of the river itself in one direction and the Houghton Club in the other. I’m hoping that at least something rubs off on me. If I don’t pass the Test, I can promise to rise to the challenge.’