Poet Imtiaz Dharker is to lead a host of writers during a day of ‘non-stop emergency poetry for the planet’ in February. The event, Verse Aid: Poems for the Earth, is presented by Poets for the Planet in association with The Society of Authors.

Eco-themed workshops and a ‘Poem-a-Thon’ and will be followed by a ticketed reading in the evening headlined by Imtiaz Dharker, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, alongside acclaimed poets Mona Arshi, Hannah Lowe and Jacqueline Saphra.

Poets for the Planet is a creative community, whose mission statement is to ‘reconnect us with the planet and promote individual and collective responsibility for change’ through the ‘power of poetry’. The event aims to raise awareness of climate change, and funds to support environmental charities.

Jacqueline Saphra 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,’ says Saphra.

‘This feeling of helplessness was paralysing, but what could I do?’ 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.’

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.’

All funds raised from the Poem-a-Thon will go to environmental charities Bees for Development and Earthwatch. 



Saturday 8 February 2020
11am – 9pm

The Society of Authors, 24 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4EH

Tickets are available to purchase on Eventbrite.


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