18 November 2016

A thought-provoking new series of poems on climate change based on interviews with frontline scientists and environmentalists

Andrew Motion writes, “What’s happening to our planet and its creatures is a question that should keep us all awake at night. I’ve responded to it here with a series of collaborative poems that came about from talking to people who deal with this question every day.”

Andrew spoke to scientists and environmentalists on the frontline of climate change, including Ellie Owen, Conservation Scientist at the RSPB; Fisherman Sandy Patience; David Barbour and Mark Wynn from the Highlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation; Marine Ecologist Professor Lloyd Peck and Palaeo-climatologist Dr Liz Thomas at the British Antarctic Survey.

He then wrote a series of collaborative poems based on these conversations. He says, “What emerged in the end was a swirl of voices. A story that has no single clear narrative line, but offers instead a succession of utterances linked by similar preoccupations.”

Here the interviews and poems are set side by side, which in turn provide an illustration of how one becomes the other and creates a unique audio poem addressing one of the most disquieting subjects of our time.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald. A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4