Joanna Pocock turned her attention to essay writing in 2014 while living in Missoula, Montana. Being in the American West, Pocock felt closer to the elemental, to the devastating wildfires and to the effects of mining and extraction on the landscape. Moved to document the environmental changes around her, she sought out rewilders, river reclaimers, ecosexuals, nomads and scavengers – people with a more balanced, and in some cases more extreme, relationship to the Earth. This resulted in Surrender, a work of creative non-fiction, blending memoir with reportage and criticism with nature writing, which won the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize in 2018 before being published in the UK in 2019. Canadian and American editions of Surrender have been published by House of Anansi; and a French edition has been translated by Mémoire d’encrier.
Pocock is a British-Canadian writer currently living in London. Her writing has appeared in Dazed & Confused, Granta Online, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New Statesman, Orion Magazine, The Spectator, Tank, The Times Literary Supplement, 3:AM and the Dark Mountain online edition, among other publications. She teaches creative writing at the University of the Arts, London.