The Way Through The Woods | Free Word

3 December 2019
19:00 20:30-

Presented by:
Free Word and English PEN


Discussing writing, belonging and nature with Long Litt Woon and Zakiya Mckenzie

I know it’s all a matter of rebuilding one’s life. In many ways it’s a matter of surviving and living under another sun, but how was I to do that?

Join us for a conversation with writers who have discovered healing and a sense of home through nature.

In a search for meaning following the death of her husband, author Long Litt Woon took up the study of mushrooms. What she found in the woods was unexpected – a sense of joy, freedom, and belonging. Chaired by English PEN’s Hannah Trevarthen, this intimate evening will celebrate the power of nature and writing, with reflections and insights from Long Litt Woon and Zakiya Mckenzie, Bristol-based writer in residence at the Forestry Commission of England.

Long Litt Woon was born in Malaysia and is an Anthropologist and certified Mushroom Expert in Norway. Zakiya Mckenzie has an MRes in Environment, Energy and Resilience from the University of Bristol. Hannah Trevarthen is English PEN’s Events and Development Manager. English PEN is the founding centre of PEN International, the worldwide writers’ association promoting freedom of expression and literature across borders.

This event is supported by the Norwegian Embassy. 


Season branding: THREAD Design 

3 December 2019
19:00 - 20:30
£6 / £5 (30 & under)

Free Word and English PEN


Long Litt Woon


Long Litt Woon is an anthropologist, born in Malaysia, living in Norway. In 2017, she published a book about two interconnected journeys: an outer journey to the kingdom of fungi and an inner journey in the landscape of grief.

Zakiya Mckenzie


Zakiya Mckenzie is a graduate student in Literature at the University of Exeter, and has a longstanding relationship with storytelling. The two interests came together in 2019 when she was chosen as Writer in Residence for the Forestry Commission of England to celebrate its centenary. She holds an MRes in Environment, Energy and Resilience from the University of Bristol. Zakiya is a volunteer at Ujima 98FM and a ‘Green and Black Ambassador’ bridging connections between people from ethnic minority backgrounds living in Bristol and the city’s booming environmental sector.

Hannah Trevarthen 

English PEN 

Hannah Trevarthen is English PEN’s Events and Development Manager. Hannah joined English PEN in 2015. Previously, she worked for four years as Assistant Programmer at Edinburgh International Book Festival. She manages PEN’s year round programme of high-profile events. Hannah has an MA in Cultural Policy and Management from Sheffield Hallam University.




There is step-free access to all areas of Free Word and a number of other facilities available to make the venue accessible. 

  • Our box office, theatre and hall are all on the ground floor with step-free access from the street
  • Meeting rooms and offices are accessible by lift from the ground floor
  • There are two accessible toilets on the ground floor. All our toilets are individual, gender neutral cubicles
  • Hearing loops are available at the box office and the theatre (when set up theatre style) and in all meeting rooms
  • The foyer and café areas are our designated quiet spaces – if you need to leave the event at any time, you’re welcome to use these areas
  • If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them

Please talk to our team if you have specific access requirements.