'Eco' Poetry Jukebox helps visitors connect with WWT Castle Espie

Internationally renowned Poetry Jukebox has arrived at WWT Castle Espie.

Located in the Lime Kiln Observatory, at the touch of a button visitors can listen to a poetry collection named FORAGE. The collection features 20 original ‘eco’ poems based on the theme of climate, environment and our relationship with it. The jukebox also includes a poem read by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

With threats to the natural world, including climate change, habitat destruction and species loss; bringing such urgent current issues of concern through attentive and intelligent ‘ecopoetry’ is increasingly relevant.

FORAGE is the second edition of the Poetry Jukebox connected to the theme of climate and the environment. It forms part of the ‘earth’ project, a collaboration between science and the arts, hosted by the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, in partnership with the literary arts production company Quotidian, who manage Poetry Jukebox in Northern Ireland.

This edition of the Poetry Jukebox is a celebration of both the natural object and the poem, and a powerful forward-looking call to action. Curated by environmental poet Dr Emma Must, visitors to WWT Castle Espie will be able to hear a collection of 20 poems from a handful of the UK and Ireland’s foremost ecopoets which explore the theme of food, foraging and climate. It also features a poem from Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's Blackberry Picking, read by Heaney himself.

Paul Stewart, Centre Manager for WWT Castle Espie, said:

Over the next few months visitors to WWT Castle Espie will be able to enjoy the Poetry Jukebox located in our Lime Kiln Observatory. We hope that the poems included on the FORAGE Poetry Jukebox will encourage visitors to sit for a moment, look out onto the beautiful landscape and wetlands of Strangford Lough, as the voices of the 20 poets connect, raise awareness and remind us all of the importance of nature. Wetlands are the most effective carbon sinks on the planet and as global temperatures continue to rise their preservation is more important than ever.

Maria McManus, poet and Artistic Director of Quotidian and Poetry Jukebox NI, commented:

We are delighted to bring Poetry Jukebox to WWT Castle Espie. As people, we need to understand our impact on the natural world. Our connection to the natural world, its capacity to thrive, depends on our connection to ourselves - we need to know ourselves - the poems are a way in. Listening to the poems creates a moment to slow down, to listen to nature and to tune to the gifts of it. We are absolutely thrilled that this curation of poems includes Seamus Heaney's 'Blackberry Picking' recorded in the voice of the Nobel Laureate himself.

Find out more about our full programme of events at Castle Espie

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