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Poems for the planet: environmental poetry group plans all-day fundraising reading

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Environmental poetry group Poets for the Planet are staging Verse Aid: Poems for the Earth, a fundraising poetry event on Saturday 8 February at the Society of Authors in London that will include an all-day Poem-a-Thon, eco-themed workshops, and a poetry gala with readings from some of the UK’s leading poets.

The Poem-a-Thon will take place from 11am to 6pm, with a relay of sponsored poets performing poems about climate change. The evening gala event will feature Imtiaz Dharker, Hannah Lowe, Mona Arshi and Jacqueline Saphra. Funds raised by the Poem-a-Thon will go to the charities Bees for Development and Earthwatch.

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," she said. "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."

Poets for the Planet are also encouraging poets to set up their own Poem-a-Thons outside London. There is already one planned on Saturday 8 February in Bristol. More details

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