Pre-order here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-saw-it-all-happen/julian-bishop/9781913211912
I’m so pleased to be working with Fly On The Wall Press on my first book of eco-poetry called We Saw It All Happen which will be published in January 2023 and you can order it here:
I’ve spent the last five years writing responses to the climate crisis and have been working with editor Isabelle Kenyon and her fabulous team at Fly On The Wall in selecting poems, among them being Little Whirlpool Ramshorn Snail which you can read here:
Little Whirlpool Ramshorn Snail was chosen by editors Cheryl Moskowitz, Maya Chowdhry and Yvonne Reddick to be one of the poems in the Anthropocene issue of Magma. The magazine also includes work by the likes of Joy Harjo, Dom Bury and Isabel Galleymore so I feel very honoured. You can buy a copy it from the Magma website:
Little Whirlpool Ramshorn Snail
A name twenty times its length, curled
on a page indexing threatened species –
smaller even than a waterboatman’s oar
pushed out to the fringes of extinction.
These water specks, scaled-down ammonites,
translucent on the edge of a Sussex ditch,
crawl among the marginals, dodging carp
to clamp onto reeds they still call home.
Despite the incursion, the plucky Ramshorns
cling on, skim ditches for scraps of algae,
flattened whorls spiralling ever further down
through the ferny fringes of a marshy nook.
Small coils that spin in a run-down clock,
man’s hands have been moving against them,
conchologists wading in to their rescue,
trying to wind the miniature cogs back.
“I always feel uneasy placing the self at the centre of a piece – the planet doesn’t and shouldn’t care a jot about my own views.”
My poem published by Green Ink Poetry asks how would the climate feel being messed around in this way – drawing on myths of an evil fairy child substituted for a human baby.
I made the final 150 or so poems longlisted for the 2021 National Poetry Competition with an eco-poem – but I’m not going to say which one because I’ll re-work it and try again… Congratulations to Marvin Thompson who won the top prize with his brilliant villanelle-ish The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (Galatians 5:22)
Read it here:
Hear me read some more poems on the excellent Poetic Voices website:
During the first lockdown in 2020, I wrote a series of sonnets to track my ups and downs. My favourite sonnet from the series was published by Dust Poetry, edited by poet Tara Wheeler. You can read “I Found A Bluebell Wood” here –
I was asked by ClimateCultures – the online resource for creative minds to share responses to our ecological and climate crisis – to write a short blog on a series of sonnets I wrote during the first lockdown. You can read the blog and some of the sonnets here: