The sap is rising! I’ve been incredibly busy lately with my insect poems, workshops and readings. I’ve been working with some brilliant projects and organisations and wanted to celebrate some of them here.
It was a joy to join the LeedsLit Fest Spring Rhythm event last week at the University of Leeds Poetry Centre, with powerful readings from a whole host of poets, including Kimberly Campanello, Zaffar Kunial, Jess Richards, Kate Simpson, Matt Howard and Charlotte Eichler.
A couple of days later I jumped on a train to head north to Dunblane, where I worked with some amazing young people at Queen Victoria School with Forces Children Scotland to hear more about the unique experiences and challenges they face as children from serving and veteran families.
I’m heading in to Hunter’s Bar Infant’s school in Sheffield later this week to talk about pollinators, bees and beekeeping (check out their fantastic living green wall for what’s possible in an urban school!).
And I have a new poem about bees up on the inspiring Words for the Wild site. The editors first started publishing ‘words for the wild’ in response to the proposed destruction of ancient woodland in Hampshire. Their site has since generated a huge amount of energy, and now hosts a range of poems and stories which celebrate the natural world and warn against the consequences of its loss.
While we’re on pollinators, let’s celebrate a brilliant new book! Laurence Packer’s Bees of the World: A Guide to Every Family is an absolute beauty – packed full of compelling information and stunning photography – just check out those compound eyes!
I’ve also just discovered Seirian Sumner’s Endless Forms: the Secret World of Wasps, published last year, and I can’t wait to get started! I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about solitary wasps recently – so watch this space!
Finally, I wanted to mention a collective project I was involved in a few months ago with Durham Book Festival. Along with nine other brilliant writers, I was invited to write a letter for Yours Sincerely: the Climate Letters in response to the accelerating climate and ecological crisis. I wrote to the endangered violet click beetle which lives in ancient decaying wood, found only at three sites in the UK. You can read all of the letters in the online showcase.