SoA and Poets for the Planet to host ‘poem-a-thon’ on climate crisis with headliner Imtiaz Dharker

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
A community of poets, performers, artists and creative activists (Poets for the Planet) will host a day of climate-themed poetry, in collaboration with the SoA, featuring Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry winner Imtiaz Dharker.

Illustration © Henny Beaumont

Verse Aid: Poems for the Earth will feature an all-day Poem-a-Thon alongside a series of eco-themed poetry workshops, followed by an evening gala with poetry readings from some of the UK’s leading poets including Imtiaz Dharker, Hannah Lowe, Mona Arshi and Jacqueline Saphra, on Saturday 8 February.

On speaking out about climate change, Imtiaz Dharker commented:

‘For me it starts with paying close attention to the movement of the smallest creature and can make leaps of the imagination from there to honour the environment we share.’

Jacqueline Saphra, a member of the SoA’s Poetry & Spoken Word Group and one of the founders of Poets for the Planet, added:

‘I was … 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.’

Verse Aid: Poems for the Earth will take place at the Society of Authors in London on Saturday 8 February 2020. Click here to find out more and to book gala tickets. All funds raised by the Poem-a-Thon through sponsorship and donations will go to environmental charities Bees for Development and Earthwatch.

Find out more about Poets for the Planet:

28 June 2023

We caught up with 2021 Eric Gregory Award winner Milena Williamson to discuss her experience of winning for an unpublished manuscript

8 February 2020

Watch today’s seven hour marathon of live poetry, presented by with Poets for the Planet live from the SoA Space.

19 September 2019

Write, illustrate and translate your way to a better planet.