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The Climate of Change Poetry Challenge Oct/Nov 2022

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Gathering the poets!

I think calling it climate change is rather limiting. I would rather call it the everything change. Margaret Atwood


The challenge has truly surprised and challenged me to find out more about climate change, as well as stretched my poetry muscles. Gabrielle O’Donovan

The Climate Challenge has been fabulous and I have really enjoyed the prompts, workshops and the Facebook group. I know I will come back to the inspirational prompts for more ideas. I’ve learnt much about how poetry might be used in the climate emergency. Thanks so much. Estelle Price


This is the second round of The Climate of Change Poetry Challenge in 2022. This Challenge seeks to create a positive community to help us all think and write in fresh, deeper ways about the climate and environmental crisis .

We focus on climate change, but not simply expressing the problem – that’s all too stark to most of us. Facing climate change will involve adapting almost everything we do. It means looking at the world afresh, more deeply and questioning structures, lifestyles and cultural assumptions – everything!

Colonial thinking needs to be questioned more deeply and long-standing injustices addressed because climate change is racist.  It disproportionally affects people of colour and Indigenous communities that are typically least responsible for the causes of climate disaster.

This poetry challenge is about cherishing and re-envisaging our world, and caring for ourselves and others. We need innovation, understanding, adaptation and resilience as our climate changes and as we try to do what we can.

Why join? 

Climate change is the biggest challenge humanity is facing. But it can be a complex, difficult and overwhelming subject to explore and write about. Writing together is more enjoyable, nurturing, rewarding and productive.

Join the Challenge because it will help.

Join for the sustained period of creative inquiry and expression to make and share new poems and stretch your creative muscle!

And because, quite simply, poems are marvelous, often joyful … and have minimal carbon footprint.

Who can join?

Enrolment is open to poets writing in English in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Israel, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. (The limitation is linked to the project funding. I hope to make the programme available to Aussies and others in the future.)

Commit to the Challenge

This is the second round of the Climate of Change Poetry Challenge. It flows thematically from the first Challenge in June/July, 2022. It’s not a repeat – there are different assignments and content.

Commit to writing at least two draft poems a week (put aside around 3-5 hours a week) from 24 Oct to 20th Nov . Join the Climate of Change Challenge Oct/Nov mailing list and make a donation.  Any excess funds will be donated to next year’s Challenge.

Do the writing assignments on your own or encourage a friend or group to write together every week.

A warm-up writing assignment will be sent on the 13th of October and you’ll be invited to join our private Facebook group to comment and encourage each other’s work (the Facebook group is optional).

You’ll get poetry assignments early on a Monday morning for a month, starting 24 Oct. Plus, there will be tips on self care/resilience and climate action each week which could also be prompts for your writing.  You’ll get another writing assignment from a guest poet early on Thursdays.

Post at least two draft poems a week on our private Facebook site.

Keep going!

Come to our celebratory reading.

Live online workshops 

There will be limited places to join our live online workshops once a week for four weeks and write together, with group discussion and the possibility of contributing to a reading at the end of the Challenge – with first priority to those who new to the workshops. Join the workshops HERE.

Dates for the diary:

The Climate of Change Poetry Challenge takes place 13 Oct to 27th Nov, 2022 

6th October – official launch of the Challenge (first email newsletter) on National Poetry Day which has an environmental focus this year.

13th October – warm-up assignment & private Facebook group opens

24rd October to 20th November – Writing assignments are sent early on Mondays & Thursdays for the one month period of Challenge.

The Facebook group remains open for one extra week to catch-up on posting assignments and commenting on others’ poems (until 27th Nov).

Workshop series:  Thursday evenings during the Challenge , UK time – more info HERE

Reading: TO BE CONFIRMED 10.30am UK time Saturday Nov 26th, 2022

How to join for those new to the Challenge

If you want to commit in the Challenge then click on THIS LINK to join. You’ll be asked optional demographic questions and for a donation of £5 or £10.  The donation is toward paying guest poets.

Numbers will be capped to make sure our Facebook community is manageable. Join before enrolments close. JOIN HERE

If I was part of the June/July Challenge, do I need to re-enroll?

If you were an active participant, you will automatically go into the the Oct/Nov Challenge and you don’t need to re-enroll .

By ‘active’ I mean:

  • you posted & commented on poems in our Facebook community; or
  • you took part in our workshops; or
  • you filled in a feedback form so I know you were taking part.

If you enrolled in the Challenge and didn’t take part (or didn’t let me know), you’ll need to enroll again. If you’re keen to commit, please do!

If you didn’t post in our private Facebook group during the last Challenge you’ll be taken out of the group and you’ll need to request to join again.  This is because we only want those in the Facebook group who are active members.

If you are taking part in the Oct/Nov Challenge then, if possible, please make an optional donation HERE too.

Guest poets

Exciting guest poets to include: Tishani Doshi (astonishing Indian poet), Karen McCarthy Woolf (who wowed us with her guest assignment & reading last Challenge)

Plus our wonderful  Facebook community cheerleader, poet Kate Potts, is back.

Tips – coming soon

  • Getting the most out of the Challenge
  • Joining and posting in our dedicated poetry Facebook group

About the Director

Australian Cath Drake is based in London. She’s was an award-winning environmental journalist and writer in Australia for a decade with a post-graduate qualification in environmental science. Her poetry collection ‘The Shaking City’ (Seren Books) was highly commended in the 2020 Forward Prizes and longlisted in the international Laurel Prize for best collection of nature or environmental poetry. It was described by TS Eliot winner Philip Gross as ‘a guide to staying clear-eyed, combative and caring in unsettling times.’. It follows ‘Sleeping with Rivers’ which won the Seren/Mslexia poetry pamphlet prize and was a Poetry Book Society choice. Cath’s accolades include a second and commended in the Poetry School’s Gingko international eco-poetry prize and short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Prize. Cath hosts The Verandah, online poetry teaching and events. She is also a mindfulness teacher.

This Challenge is kindly funded by The Emergence Foundation.




Oct 12 2022 - Nov 27 2022


8:00 am - 11:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 12 2022 - Nov 27 2022
  • Time: 3:00 am - 6:00 pm


Online (Zoom)
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