Stevie Krayer writes about the Words for the Earth poetry evening we held online in October:
A recording of the event is now available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja8urOCIifk
Back in September I was admiring the beautiful panels contributed to the Loving Earth project and wishing I had one stitch of craftwomanship in my creative fabric. My medium is words; my hands can manage a keyboard but that’s about it. So I asked whether I could contribute a poem instead of a panel. The response was an invitation to organise a poetry event!
Quite quickly the idea began to take shape. QAN kindly offered to host an online event in the runup to COP26, and between Linda Murgatroyd, Philip Gross, Sam Donaldson, Jennifer Kavanagh and me, we sorted out all the details and chose the title Words for the Earth.
Come the evening of 25 October, I sat down at my computer and logged in. To my mingled astonishment, delight and terror, there was an audience of some 70 Friends for an hour of poetry about our planet. Philip, Sam and I read, Jennifer was the perfect compère and Kate Green took excellent care of the technical side (which didn’t stop a gremlin gatecrashing and repeatedly silencing Philip – but being a seasoned pro he coped with aplomb).
I started my set by worrying aloud whether poetry might be seen as yet more ‘blahblahblah’. The size of the audience was itself a reassurance on that point, and both at the time and subsequently, many audience members let us know that the event had been inspiring. One wrote “Thank you all for your wonderful words, which transported us to places of light and dark in the realm of imagination.” To me it was clear that as we confront the climate crisis, poetry is something we really need. It articulates our deepest emotions about the Earth and its denizens. It unites us, comforts us and heartens us as we continue the struggle to save our shared home. I hope there may be further events forthcoming from QAN.
A few of the poems read by these poets will be available in our December 2021 Newsletter