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SIM Ep 853 Chops 255: Cornwall, rural poverty, resilience and writing

Ep. 853

Working-class poet and writer Natasha Carthew is Cornish. She grew up in a small village called Downderry, where the rockpools, beautiful beaches and hedgerows were as constant as the low wages, high property prices, lack of nearby resources and services, and the high rates of alcoholism, drug misuse, mental health crises and suicide. How’s that for a picture perfect postcard?

Rural poverty often gets lost amid the stats on urban poverty, so in her first non-fiction, Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience, amid recollections of her youth, Natasha investigates the state of poverty in rural places in general, and Cornwall in particular. 

In this Chops, Natasha chats to our Mick about the generational trauma of rural poverty, the othering of poor kids, and how careless tourists add to the problem. But it’s not all doom and gloom: Natasha is a huge champion of working-class voices and so they also talk about the power of resilience and writing, and the return of the excellent ClassFest in 2024.

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