The artist commissions

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Artist commissions
As part of the project, the Arts Council commissioned 12 of England's finest artists to write a new work about their sense of place. Their pieces - prose and poetry - are below. Feel free to comment on them.

Andrew O'Hagan

Andrew O'Hagan

In Andrew O'Hagan's essay on Englishness whatever else we have lost we still revel in self deprecation.

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge tells us about her place - Liverpool. She says about the architecture: "All were built in a previous century and gave a framework to my life."

Catherine O'FLynn

Catherine O'Flynn

Catherine O'Flynn is a writer from Birmingham. She writes about growing up in her father's shop and eating a mouse's leftover chocolate.

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra writes a ballad set in Cranford Park, the one between Heathrow and Hounslow where a large Sikh Punjabi community have lived since the early 1960s.

Esther Freud

Esther Freud

Hideous Kinky author Esther Freud tells us about Suffolk 'on a silvery blue February day', in a tale about nature, the past and the future.

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore writes poignantly about Porthmeor beach in Cornwall in a haunting tale about storms, the sea and watery graves.

Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan's poem about the winds of Yorkshire is as surprising as it is beautiful - you might recognise a few of the draughts he describes.

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay

Scotland-born writer Jackie Kay writes a moving tale of her mother's love and a landscape which generates inspiration and tears.

John Agard

John Agard

John Agard kept his vowels rolled in the West Country... but finds he can't quite fit in wherever he moves in England - but why not?

Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee comes from Poole in Dorset, her parents are English and her parents' parents are English. So why is her sense of identity more linked to the sea than the land?

Patrick Wright

Patrick Wright

Patrick Wright writes: "When I lived in East London in the early 1990s, there was one street above all that seemed beyond hope of improvement or recovery." Which one?

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien's evocative poem takes us to Sunk Island on the north banks of the Humber with nature as a constant companion.

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