Poets for the Planet, a creative community using its voice to engage with the climate and ecological emergency, is teaming up with the Society of Authors on an all-day poetry event headlined by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.
The event, Verse Aid, hopes to raise awareness of climate change while fundraising in support of environmental charities. It will take place on Saturday 8th February from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., at the SoA's new headquarters at 24 Bedford Row in London. A Poem-a-Thon and eco-themed workshops will run on the day, followed by a ticketed evening reading headlined by Armitage, alongside poets Mona Arshi, Hannah Lowe and Jacqueline Saphra.
Saphra said she started Poets for the Planet when she realised she was repeatedly turning the pages of newspapers to avoid reading articles about climate change: "Yet I was still waking in the night panicking about the future I was bequeathing to my children. This feeling of helplessness was paralysing, but what could I do? Poetry, of course! The power of the word. Poetry can help us look, really look, at the almost unbearable reality of climate change. And once we can look, it becomes possible to act."
Armitage added: "'Poet’ and ‘Planet’ are now much more than near rhymes, they are inextricably connected and mutually dependent things."
All funds raised from the Poem-a-Thon will go to environmental charities Bees for Development and Earthwatch. More information, including how to book tickets, can be found at poetsfortheplanet.org.