On Friday 5th November, Simon, Sue, Lucy, myself and our amazing Patron, Clare Nasir met up in the Blue Zone at the Science Pavillion to hear poet and participation artist, Liv Torc and Tongue Fu, writer and Fu founder Chris Redmond talk about Hot Poets.
Hot Poets is a brand new Arts Council England funded project and the brainchild of Liv and Chris. Their aim: bringing poetry and science together to imagine a better possible future. Throughout 2021, they arranged for 12 talented poets from the UK and one from South Africa to work with one of 12 organisations working at ground zero of climate change, including The Word Forest Organisation (we were thrilled to be included and doubly thrilled with the resulting poem).
Each poet crafted a brilliant new piece of work that paints a picture of what’s really going on in the fight for the planet.
We were incredibly lucky to be paired with the amazing Zena Edwards. Her powerful contribution is entitled: Mother of the Forest. It was the first of the Hot Poets pieces to be released and it came out last Monday on Day One of COP26. As well as being featured later in week one in a UNFCCC session I spoke at in the Resilience Lab, it also played out in the Botanical Gardens in Glasgow as part of the Art and Energy project too.
Liv and Chris took to the stage last night to a packed audience and along with Elvis McGonagall, Francesca Beard and Zena Edwards, they performed 5 fabulous pieces:
- Liv: When you know the water’s coming – Somerset County Council, Somerset Wildlife Trust, and Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.
- Zena: Mother of the Forest – The Word Forest Organisation
- Elvis: Extreme Weather Report – The Met Office
- Francesca: Geology Rocks – The British Geological Survey
- Chris: Green Futures; the earth is waiting – The Weather Makers
Chris and Liv have several live performances planned and Hot Poets is being turned into an educational programme too. Visit HotPoets.org to see if they’re heading your way.
Some years back, I wrote a book called Poetry of Divorce for Women. To be honest, I was an environmental writer, I’d never penned poetry before, but as I drowned in the nightmare of my divorce and my mental health and wellbeing was stretched to its limits, I found writing poetry to be an incredibly powerful way of focusing my energy, channelling my darkness and lifting my soul. If you’re struggling with eco-anxiety or anything else come to that, I urge you to pick up a pen and try to write some.
I absolutely get why Liv and Chris created Hot Poets and I know the resulting poems are going to do a great deal of good work helping people to engage with the issues of climate change and also perhaps, to find a way to channel their angst, fear and concerns whilst governments around the world get their acts together.
Tracey and The Team