I’m an ecopoet and environmental community artist/writer with a Masters degree in Literature from Edinburgh University, and now live near Findhorn Bay on the Moray Firth. I spend much of my time exploring and writing about our extraordinary planet, as well as thinking about how we could live more sustainably in future. To date I’ve published two poetry collections, two children’s books about climate change and an illustrated nature journal. I regularly collaborate with other artists, including a film-maker for poetry films. I’m also a Forest School leader, and I like to bring groups outdoors to write from our experiences of nature.
About writer's work
How is the worm one of our ancestors? What experiences might a school of fish have? How do climate scientists feel about their work? Why are there so many products with brand names that are named after fruit or indigenous tribes? These and many other questions have inspired my imagination as an ecopoet and community artist/writer.
My writing and poetry films have won awards and been acclaimed by poets in the US and Australia, with the leading Australia poet and academic John Kinsella describing my second poetry collection, ECOZOA, as “a mile-stone in the journey of ecopoetics.” My poems are published internationally, and have appeared in many journals and anthologies, most recently in Diamond Cutters: Visionary Poets in America, Britain & Oceania (Tayen Lane Publishing) and Dark Mountain Project’s Uncivilised Poetics. I regularly read at literary and environmental events, sometimes accompanied by my partner, Alasdair Taylor on harp. Engagements this year include, at London’s Southbank, ‘Women Poets for the Planet’; Cheltenham Poetry Festival; and a seminar on 'Art for Earth's Sake' with students at the University of Gloucestershire. A recording from ECOZOA was featured at a symposium at Sydney University’s Environment Institute in April 2016.
I’ve recently completed a 21 month residency with Last Tree Dreaming, a community project awarded just over £40k by Heritage Lottery Fund to raise awareness of the historical, cultural and ecological significance of Selwood Forest in Somerset, focusing on an iconic 250 year old oak tree, which featured in a painting by J.M.W. Turner, and into which young people carved their aspirational symbols. Amongst other aspects of the project, we co-curated ‘Selwood, a Forest Through Time’, a museum exhibition with a series of themed events, including walks, talks and creative writing workshops.
Websites featuring the authorAuthor's WebsiteMy second poetry collection, ECOZOADiamond Cutters poetry anthology featuring my work‘Greenspin’, my award-winning poetry filmHeritage Lottery funded project-film (animated interview with Helen Moore)Testimonials about my poetry teaching
Current events and projects
I’m available for readings (which can be accompanied with harp &/percussion, and can also involve multimedia elements), residencies, workshops and seminars with children (9-12), teens, university students and adults, particularly around environmental themes e.g. climate change, rewilding, sustainable future scenarios, or a nature-based, e.g. Wildlife on your Doorstep/urban nature, nature journaling, Web of Life, Words from the Woods, Wild Ways to Writing.
I can also offer a multimedia ecopoetry workshop to secondary pupils entitled: ‘Art for Earth’s Sake, Poetry and Climate Change’ workshop for secondary schools. This involves interactive discussion, watching a poetry film, a poetry reading and facilitated writing exercises. Other workshops or seminars can focus particularly around exploring the role of the arts as medium for social change.
Additionally I offer ‘Reading and Writing Poetry’ workshops or programmes to young writers and adults. In this context I select a series of poems on a chosen theme, drawing from a broad range of poetries in English & in translation from other cultures. Having read and discussed the poems, participants are then supported in writing their own, with an emphasis on developing poetic voice and craft. I’ve substantial experience running such courses and currently teach at Moray Art Centre.
Working as a freelance, socially engaged artist since 2006, I’ve been commissioned by various arts organisations, particularly Creativity Works, to facilitate writing and allied creative practices in a range of settings, including health-care. I’ve also co-led poetry-film projects in secondary schools, colleges and hospitals in collaboration with Liberated Words CIC. For several years I worked and performed with the Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Society creating outdoor theatre performances. In 2011, I directed the Web of Life Community Art Project, designed to highlight escalating global extinction rates. And I’m currently assisting Earth for Life, a social enterprise offering ecotherapy and environmental education in NE Scotland.
Please contact me via my website: www.natures-words.co.uk
Or via Tony Rollinson at my publisher’s: firstname.lastname@example.org