Over the lockdown period, in addition to learning to teach university modules digitally and running a series of online workshops and live events, I've also had the pleasure of working on several fantastic projects with 26. I first wrote with this group for the Armistice project with the Imperial War Museums and this time the partnership is with The Wildlife Trusts and 56 writers were paired with 56 endangered animals to write a 100 word poem and then an essay about their plight.
I was delighted to be paired with the Bilberry Bumblebee, which is a native British bumblebee and clearly has the best name of any animal ever. Ever. Tell me a better one. I dare you. (I may have become somewhat attached) It was a fantastic experience that brought me into contact with passionate staff at both the Wildlife Trusts and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. It was a fantastic experience and you can tell from the amazing quality of the writing everyone has produced, that this wasn't just true for me.
Throughout September, two of these poems are being posted daily and you can read them on the 26 Wild project website.
If you'd like to support The Wildlife Trusts, please consider purchasing a copy of the book of these poems and essays, The Story's Not Over via Crowdfunder. The cost of the book has been covered (largely by us, the contributors) so all your money now goes straight to the Wildlife Trusts and their campaigns to help animals, including humans, survive and thrive in a world full of nature.