The Climate of Change Poetry Workshops, 2023 – UK morning
I think calling it climate change is rather limiting. I would rather call it everything change. Margaret Atwood
… let us make no mistake: the climate crisis is also a crisis of culture, and thus of imagination. Amitav Ghosh
The Climate of Change in 2023
After two highly successful intensive Climate of Change Challenge months in 2022, we are continuing our workshops, and then hopefully monthly workshops and challenges later in the year, pending funding.
This is a time of great change. Our climate is changing, and we must change very quickly and fundamentally.
We will explore 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.
The exploitation of nature and colonial thinking needs to be questioned more deeply, and long-standing injustices addressed. The climate emergency disproportionally affects people of colour and Indigenous communities. These communities are typically least responsible for the causes of climate disaster.
Climate change can be a complex, difficult and overwhelming subject to explore and write about. Writing together can be more enjoyable, nurturing, rewarding and productive.
The intention is the develop an ongoing group, a growing community of poets to support each other to think and write more deeply about the crisis.
About the workshops
On the Monday before we meet, you’ll receive poems and tips on research to consider. I recommend you spend a bit of time on the assignments in advance to get the most out of it. However, if you’re super busy, just come along to the workshops fresh and immerse in the assignments.
I’m encouraging research to help us think differently, more deeply. You might want to develop your own areas of interest or research and apply them to the assignments where possible over the course of the year.
The writing exercises each month will consist of four elements: two related to writing about nature/the environment/climate change, one about taking action, and one about taking care of yourself and others (the same as in the 2022 Challenges). Self care and resilience, agency and action are also part of the work in The Climate of Change.
These are enjoyable international groups on Zoom. Expect rich discussion and inspiring ideas. Anyone who has a passion for the topic and for poetry. Ideally, you have some experience of writing.
You can enroll in the workshops either in UK mornings (also good for Australian time zones; late afternoon/evening in Australia) – see information and enrollment below for this. OR you can enroll in the workshops taking place in UK evening time (suitable for US time zones) – find the details and enrolment for this on another page here.
Dates & times
Thursdays: 19 Jan; 23 March; 18 May; 13 July (continuing in September)
18th May: Progress – what does it mean to you? It’s a very weighted word that has been synonymous with industrial and commercial growth. It has often been the excuse for clearing vast tracks of natural ecosystems. What did we learn as a child and what do we think now about ‘progress’? We play with forwards and backwards and new meanings for progress in world in an environmental crisis.
13th July: Sustainable sustenance – we expect to be able to buy and consume anything we want, any time, any place. Does this make us happy? Is it a right? We expect perfect blemish-free fruit and vegetables whether they are in season or not. We are so often blind to the means of production and how polluting and environmentally damaging it might be. One third of food is wasted and that is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. How can we be more conscious of the value of food and its means of production in a world in environmental crisis?
Join one workshop or both – a new theme each time
Workshops are 2.5hours long
Timing: UK morning
10am to 12.30pm UK time on 18 May & 13 July … we take a break over August and start again in September
Australia: 5pm Perth // 7pm Sydney // 6.30pm Adelaide // 6.30pm Darwin // 7pm Brisbane
A useful link for checking other timezones against UK time: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
If you would prefer the UK evening time (suitable for US time zones too) CLICK HERE
Per workshop £GBP 27
If you have attended some of the Climate of Change workshops get in touch for a discounted place. Due to the generosity of Climate of Change participants there are a limited number of discount places for those who need it. Please get in touch with me directly HERE.
Quotes from The Climate of Change 2022
It was great to work within a supportive community of writers on the most pressing issues facing humanity at this time. A kind of magic happened within the discipline of the challenge. I found a joy in writing I didn’t know I’d lost, returning to writing freely with freedom to experiment and play. Anne Enith Cooper
I absolutely loved it and feel I was positively stretched as a writer. Patricia Foster McKenley
The Climate of Change Poetry Challenge is consistently stimulating and inspiring. Writing environmental poems is a way to take action in a like-minded community. Don’t hesitate, participate! Nicole Rain Sellers
Really great challenge, Cath – both in terms of the issues to tackle and the assignments set. I also liked having the self-care and practical tasks. Melinda
Wow, thankyou for this gift of motivation and for the richness of your observations about writing for this topic. Bell
I loved your course. Your assignments are so interesting and really helped me dig deep. You have so much enthusiasm and the encouragement makes me feel at home. You have a wonderful depth of perception for the poems we studied. Christina
… you have promoted a good balance between the serious, the fun and the self-care aspects. Thank you! Gabrielle
Thank you for all your hard work in developing this course – whilst the topic is so difficult to face up to, it’s really important and helpful to do it in a supportive and encouraging environment which this has been. Ali Walters
About the Facilitator
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 Resurgence Poetry School international eco-poetry prize (now called Ginkgo) and short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Prize. Cath hosts The Verandah, online poetry teaching and events. She is also a mindfulness teacher.