Elliott & Thompson has acquired The Heeding, a sequence of poems by Rob Cowen, with illustrations by Nick Hayes.
The collection will look at our relationship with the natural world and each other, through four seasons and a global pandemic.
The synopsis explains: "The world changed in 2020. Gradually at first, then quickly and irreversibly, the patterns by which we once lived altered completely. The Heeding paints a picture of a year caught in the grip of history, yet filled with revelatory perspectives close at hand: from a sparrowhawk hunting in a back street, the moon over a town or butterflies massing in a high-summer yard, to remembrances of moments that shape a life. Collecting birds, animals, trees and people together, and surfacing memories along the way, The Heeding evolves to become a profound memorial to a time no one will forget."
Sarah Rigby, acting publishing director, acquired world English language rights from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates. The Heeding will be published in hardback and e-book in June 2021 to coincide with the summer solstice and the anniversary of the end of the first lockdown.
Rigby said: "I could not be more delighted to be working with Rob Cowen again, having published Common Ground in 2015. Nick and Rob are an outstanding new creative partnership and I’m very excited to be collaborating with them on a project that will not only look incredible, but whose words will resonate powerfully as we start to emerge from this awful pandemic and begin to process our changing relationships with nature and the time in which we’re living."
Cowen and Hayes said: "At its heart, this is a book that helps us look again, to heed: to be attentive to this world we share and this history we’re living through, to be aware of how valuable and fragile we are, to grieve what’s lost, and to hope for a better and brighter tomorrow."
Cowen is the author of Common Ground (Hutchinson, 2015). Hayes is an author and illustrator. His book, The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us, was published by Bloomsbury in 2020.