My manual of creative walks for readers, writers and creatives of all types, walk write (repeat), is published by Triarchy Press. See the book page for more details. You can buy direct from the publishers here.
Fancy a walk? Choose a drift, follow the prompt and explore in new ways.
Drifts assembled for the 2020 Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography.
Explore your living space in silence, seeking the source of secret and hidden noises. Go on tiptoe, listening for squeaks and creaks. Follow the path of rumbling pipes. Seek out tiny cavities, containing echoes.
The room you are in is a landscape. Where is the horizon? What are those vast objects in the distance? Follow patterns underfoot. Walk perimeters like the edges of fields or shorelines. Find a pool of light to swim through or float on.
The aliens have landed! As you walk, look for evidence of interplanetary visitation in your environment. Can you find any unidentifiable objects? Is that strange, mutating botanical an alien plant species? The sings are out there…
Take a hide-and-seek wander. Look for, and give attention to, objects and creatures that usually go unnoticed. Seek out the partially obscured and hidden. Note some potential hiding places of your own.
Take a geometrical drift, collecting 2D shapes. Start with circles, then gather triangles, rectangles and squares. Keep working up through 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-sided shapes. See if you can push up to 10 – and beyond.
Follow the colour red, using your walk to join the dots between red objects and instances. See where it takes you.
4th-6th September 2020
Sonia will be at this year’s virtual 4WCoP, behind the scenes and in events. Come along!
Saturday 5th September, 19.00 BST. A psychogeographical poetry evening in the Congress’s virtual pub, The Psychogeographer and Compass. Sonia will be a reading a couple of poems from The Art of Walking.
Sunday 6th September, 10.00 BST. 4WCoP Distance Drift. Sonia hosts a special #DistanceDrift for the Congress: a live, synchronised drift, walking indoors or out, wherever you are. Meet at the virtual Bus Station. Go to Twitter and follow #DistanceDrift @soniaoverall to join in.
Sunday 6th September, 17.30 BST. Walk Don’t Walk Plenary. Sonia hosts the Congress plenary, featuring walking artists and practitioners. In the cafe.
At any time: Pick a Drift to walk in your own time. Hosted on this site and live for the Congress.
Walking together apart: Sunday lockdown walks
Sonia is leading Distance Drifts, a series of Sunday morning synchronised walks via Twitter.
#DistanceDrift is a space to walk alone – or in your social bubble – and connect with other walkers. Themed prompts keep the walks playful and interactive. Walks can be followed in any space, indoors or out.
Distance Drifts started on the first Sunday in April 2020 and continue throughout lockdowns. Themes so far have included dealing from Sonia’s Drift Deck, walking by numbers, exploring islands, investigating Blue Moons, finding faces through pareidolia, vicarious adventures with mascots, walking with Alfred Hitchcock and scavenger hunting.
Synchronised Distance Drifts take place on Sunday mornings at 10am BST. Follow @soniaoverall and #DistanceDrift for live prompts, or follow the thread in your own time.
a walking women’s manifesto
created by participants at the POW! Thanet festival, 17th March 2019
We should feel entitled to our own space. We should be walking to ‘look’, not to be looked at. We should walk in our own footsteps and not follow others. We have as much right to take up space as anyone else. (If 17% of the crowd are women, everyone thinks there are as many women as men!)
Take back the joy of walking for its own sake. Be proud – claim the space. Be brave. Be bold. Walk where you want to. Be daring in your gaze. Look at other women. Love people-watching. Smile and say hello to people. You’ll be surprised. Walk smiling. Walk frowning. Walk alone and uninhibited. Walk in new places, exploring. Be a child when walking, totally absorbed in the environment, not caring what others think. Walk happily, free of glancing at a mobile phone. Always night walk at the full moon. Banish the thought of being murdered as you walk. If you don’t want to walk alone, get a dog or borrow one. Do not follow someone else’s footsteps. Follow your own path to create your own dreams, not someone else’s. Walk through life and try to find the strength to share.
Empathy for women’s spaces. Public design of space, managing pavements, restricting cars. No parking on pavements. No racing towards zebra and pelican crossings when someone is crossing. Respect for pedestrians. Better pavement surfaces. Better street lighting. Protection of public toilets to enjoy walking.
For street homeless women to be safe. To make the environment shine for all women walkers, including those for whom walking is too often imposed.
Texts for a feminist survival kit
readings from the walk & recommendations from participants
- Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life
- Angelou, Maya. I Rise
- Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
- Burns, Anna. Milkman
- Carter, Angela. Wise Children
- Elkin, Lauren. Flâneuse
- Fey, Tina. Bossypants
- Rhys, Jean. Quartet and After Leaving Mr Mackenzie
- Rich, Adrienne. ‘When We Dead Awaken’
- Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust
- Wesley, Mary. The Camomile Lawn
- Woolf, Virginia. Mrs Dalloway