The Cape Farewell/Poetry Society SWITCH: Youth Poetics Programme - The First year 2012/2013

To recap our first year of the project, here are some words from novelist Ian McEwan: 

"It has been a pleasure and a great fascination for me to be reading these poems for the Cape Farewell challenge.  It is particularly hard to make good art about climate change, and it’s even harder, the hardest of all, to make good literature out of climate change (...) Literature pins you down, words carry meanings and you’ve got to tie yourself to those meanings.   It reminded me of the difficulty I faced when writing Solar. I thought these poems rose magnificently to a very, very difficult challenge."

                                                                                                    Novelist Ian McEwan on the winning poems

Video: Novelist Ian McEwan praises the Winning and Commended Poets

The Poetry Society's Young Poets Network teamed up with Cape Farewell - the international not-for-profit organisation set up to instigate a cultural response to Climate Change, based in the Science Museum's Dana Centre, London. Poet Karen McCarthy Woolf set four poetry challenges hosted on the Young Poets Network which invited young poets to respond to Cape Farewell’s archive of photos, videos and blog posts as part of their Switch programme for young poets aged 11-18. McCarthy Woolf then selected a winner for each challenge and a series of commended poems. 

The final four winning poems by Jamie UyJake ReynoldsSerena Cooke and Mary Anne Clarke plus the commended poets were celebrated at an event at Rich Mix, London, on the 29th April.

Cape Farewell leads expeditions of artists, musicians, writers and scientists to places like the Arctic and the Amazon so they can see the effects of climate change close up and respond to it in their work.

We also present an exciting new Teachers Resource to inspire writing on the environment and climate change in the class room. And remember - you can still revisit and try out the four exciting Cape Farewell challenges on the Young Poets Network

Press release: Young poets win SWITCH climate change poetry competition

Cape Farewell SWITCH project: The Final Event  - Video

Winner Mary Anne Clarke performing her winning poem 'The Arctic Tern’s Prayer'. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Winner Serena Cooke being presented her award by Lord de Mauley and Cape Farewell, David Buckland. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Runner up Isobel Sheen with Karen McCarthy Wolf. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Audience at Rich Mix. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Apples and Snakes Writers Room poet Letitia Lovelace-Henson. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Winner Jake Reynolds. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Switch compere and curator Karen McCarthy Wolf. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

Poet Rachel Long ending proceedings with her brilliant and satrical poem 'I don't know much about climate change'. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

From L-R - David Buckland Cape Farewell Director, Winner Serena Cooke, Lord de Mauley of Defra, Winner Jake Reynolds and Winner Mary Anne Clarke. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.

From L - R Winner Jake Reynolds, Runner Up Sophie Colfer, Winner Mary Anne Clarke, Runner Up Isobel Sheen and Winner Serena Cooke. Copyright Gorm Ashurst for Cape Farewell.


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