The Life of Breath: History, Texts, Contexts

10-12 July 2018, Durham Breathing is a basic physiological process, yet also has deep cultural, spiritual and personal meaning. However, although breath and breathing are such resonant and urgent subjects, they have never been the subject of systematic cultural or … Read more…

The Last Breath

25 August 2017, Edinburgh VISIONS OF THE FUTURE: A GOOD DEATH Over 50% of people say they want to die at home, yet most of us will still die in hospital. What is our relationship with death as it becomes … Read more…

The History of All We Breathe

25 August 2017, Edinburgh DECODING THE SECRETS OF THE AIR Science writer Sam Kean traces the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere in Caesar’s Last Breath. This fascinating investigation shows how what we breathe has shaped human progress, been the … Read more…

The Sound of Breath

24 August 2017, Edinburgh THE BREATH IN SONG AND POETRY How do poets and composers think about breath? The pause in a line or the length of the note impacts greatly on how an audience hears, connects with and interprets … Read more…

An Encyclopaedia of Breath

19-20 August 2017, Edinburgh Feeling ‘peched oot’ from rushing around the Festival? Pause for a lungful and help Sarah McLusky and Mary Robson create an illuminated encyclopaedia exploring the language and history of breath and air. Contribute your words, definitions, … Read more…

A World of Sighs

13 August 2017, Edinburgh FROM POETRY TO PRAYER Seen historically as a way of maintaining a healthy body and mind through the expelling of melancholy, sighing is now fertile ground for psychologists to assess a person’s emotional state. For a … Read more…