Nancy Campbell courtesy of Paul Preece
Every year our medals and awards recognise geographers who have made a significant contribution to the discipline and the geographical community.
The Ness Award is presented to travellers who have successfully popularised geography and the wider understanding of our world and its environment.
We caught up with 2020 Ness Award recipient Nancy Campbell to discuss what the award meant to her.
What did winning the Ness Award mean to you?
In this last year our personal experience of place – the terms on which people can travel, the scale of their journeys – has altered dramatically. It's a moment of acute sensitivity to geography, when everyone must be aware of the exact measure of distance between bodies. At such a time, it is a special honour to receive this award which recognises the significance of literature as another means by which to navigate the world.
Did winning the award have an impact on your career or open up any opportunities to you?
Although there have been no direct opportunities, it has been a great honour and encouragement to have my work recognised by this esteemed professional body. I am also proud that the award recognises the necessity to conserve the geographically distinct yet globally connected communities, from the Arctic ice edge to European waterways which feature in my work, and honours the many individuals I met during my travels who have generously and patiently supported my research.
What would you say to our Fellowship to encourage them to nominate a special geographer for a Ness Award?
Although a writer may seem to speak directly to a reader through their books, it is much rarer that a writer hears back from their readers. A nomination for the Ness Award is an example of this positive dialogue and provides writers with the stimulus and confidence for new projects.
Nancy Campbell received the Ness Award in 2020 for the popularisation of geography through poetry and non-fiction writing. She is a poet and non-fiction writer, and her work has been awarded numerous literary prizes. Find out more about Nancy in our podcast.
Any Fellow or member can make a nomination and the deadline is 5.00pm on Monday 8 February 2021. So what are you waiting for? Let us know who you think has made a difference in the geographical community and make a nomination.
We caught up with two of our previous Geographical Award recipients, Dwayne Fields and Mark Evans MBE, to discuss what the award meant to them.
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