In celebration of Exeter’s status as UNESCO City of Literature we have brought together a sequence of new poems written by scientists, health professionals and a poet from the University of Exeter and the Met Office. Powerful poetry connects disciplines, research, communities, and emotions in diverse and challenging ways; poetry provokes questions, motivates positive change, and reveals what is most valuable.
This collaborative project highlights links between the climate crisis and human health. The poems connect a mix of voices from climate science and healthcare, using words to halt and heal a fast-escalating climate emergency. They testify to our team’s mission – to forge exciting collaborations using poetry to announce key environmental change and health messages. Read on to see how the poems have inspired a book, poetry trail, podcast and music to get the climate change message out there.
Through creative writing workshops with over 30 Met Office climate scientists and health professionals from the University of Exeter, led by our poet Dr Sally Flint, we have created 12 poems for 12 days of COP26 with the notion that ‘there is power by paying attention’. What makes ‘One Chance Left’ stand out is that the poems are written by those working on the front line of the climate crisis. It is a coming together of voices excavating climate change problems and searching for solutions in an emergency. Those who see first-hand and are acutely aware of the devastation being done to the planet are desperate to let others know the truth and the likely implications. We must join together to heal the world before it’s too late.