Audio: Climate Change Poems read by Celebrities

An audio resource that contains 21 poems on climate change. Compiled by UK poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, the resource provides audio files on themes of climate change by renowned poets, narrated by celebrities. The resource includes the following poems read by different celebrities:

  1. James Franco reads ‘Causeway’ by Matthew Hollis
  2. Jeremy Irons reads ‘Storm’ by Michael Longley 
  3. Ruth Wilson reads ‘Vertigo’ by Alice Oswald 
  4. Gabriel Byrne reads ‘Zoological Positivism Blues’ by Paul Muldoon 
  5. Michael Sheen reads ‘Scratching for Metaphor in the Somerset Coalfields’ by Sean Borodale
  6. Kelly Macdonald reads ‘Extinction’ by Jackie Kay 
  7. Maxine Peake reads ‘A Mancunian Taxi-driver Foresees His Death’ by Michael Symmons Roberts 
  8. Tamsin Greig reads ‘Last Snowman’ by Simon Armitage
  9. Iain Glen reads ‘Nostalgia’ by Don Paterson
  10. Iwan Rheon reads ‘Cantre’r Gwaelod*’ by Gillian Clarke 
  11. James Franco reads ‘Still like with Sea Pinks and High Tide’ by Maura Dooley
  12. Jeremy Irons reads ‘Turbines in January’ by Colette Bryce
  13. Ruth Wilson reads ‘Silent Sea’ by Rachael Boast
  14. Gabriel Byrne reads ‘The Solace of Artemis’ by Paula Meehan
  15. Michael Sheen reads ‘The Rhinoceros’ by Robert Minhinnick 
  16. Kelly Macdonald reads ‘X’ by Imtiaz Dharkar
  17. Maxine Peake reads ‘Doggerland’ by Jo Bell  
  18. Tamsin Greig reads ‘A Language of Change’ by David Sergeant
  19. Iain Glen reads ‘California Dreaming’ by Lachlan McKinnon
  20. Gabriel Byrne reads ‘Late Sentinels’ by Peter Fallon 
  21. James Franco reads ‘I was Born into a World’ by James Franco 

Both audio mp3 and text versions of the poems are available on the website

Students will learn about climate change through the use of poetry. They will also understand the techniques involved in writing and analysing poetry.  

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How is climate change portrayed in modern poetry?
  2. How do you analyse a poem? 

About the Tool 

Tool Name‘Our melting, shifting liquid world’: celebrities read poems on climate change
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplinePoetry, Literature 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading, Audio
Grade LevelHigh school, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byCarol Ann Duffy
Hosted atThe Guardian
LinkAudio Link
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/ Microlecture: Poetry in Strange Times

A microlecture titled ‘As climate changes, I order a salad: contemporary poetry and the strange times of climate change’ by Sam Solnick,  University of Liverpool that discusses three poems that focus on temporalities associated with climate change. The video also discusses the role of media and poetry in shaping the climate change narrative. The video further discusses methods of analysing contemporary poetry. 

Students will learn about the representation of climate change in contemporary poetry. They will also learn about different interpretations and approaches to understand climate change through poetry. Students will further learn of the impact of digital media on how we perceive and respond to climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the various temporalities of climate change?
  2. How does the media shape our experience of climate change?

About the tool

Tool NameAs climate changes, I order a salad: contemporary poetry and the strange times of climate change
DisciplineHumanities, English 
Topic(s) in DisciplinePoetry,  Literature,  Anthropocene, Temporalities, Digital Media
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Microlecture (17 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed bySam Solnick, University of Liverpool
Hosted atVimeo
Linkhttps://vimeo.com/164747631
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Reading: Climate Change Poetry

A set of poems commissioned by the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) that feature 9 poems on the theme of climate change. The poems are based on the collective understanding of climate change and human response to this global phenomenon. These pieces were commissioned as part of ‘Seven Dimensions of Climate Change’ series of the RSA and include the following poems

  1. ‘A Climate of Change’ by George the Poet 
  2. ‘How’s My Coal’ by Simon Barraclough
  3. ‘Except for the Lone Wave’ by Grace Nichols 
  4. ‘Untitled’ by Tom Chivers 
  5. ‘We Have Everything We Need’ by Selena Nwulu
  6. ‘Water is Company’ by Ruth Padel 
  7. ‘Polar Heart’ by Simon Barraclough
  8. ‘Inheritance’ by John Agard 
  9. ‘Alongside Beans’ by Alice Oswald 

Students will learn about climate change and its impacts on society through poetry. They will also learn about linkages of  science and human emotion. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is climate poetry?
  2. How can poetry be used to tackle the issue of climate change?
  3. What are the essential components of poetry? 

About the tool: 

Tool Name9 Original Poems on Climate Change
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplinePoetry, Literature
Climate Topic Climate and Society  
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byThe Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) 
Hosted atThe Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)  
Linkhttps://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/events/climate-change-poetry-anthology.pdf
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Poetry Writing

A classroom activity designed by the Poetry Society, UK that demonstrates techniques to write climate change poetry. This module provides a step by step guide in poetry writing. It uses Amanda Dalton’s poem ‘How to Disappear’ to draw on the theme of ‘disappearance’ which the reader can interpret on both personal levels as well as for the planet impacted by global warming. 

Students will learn techniques of poetry writing, specifically climate change poetry. They will also learn to narrate their emotions and perceptions about climate change through poetry.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the essential components of poetry?
  2. What are some things that may disappear from the Earth due to global warming?
  3. Discuss an idea for a climate change related poem.

About the Tool 

Tool NameVanishing Acts: Connecting Climate Change and Poetry 
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplinePoetry 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh school
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byHelen Mort
Hosted atThe Poetry Society, UK
Linkhttps://poetryclass.poetrysociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Vanishing-Acts-Poetry-and-Climate-Change-Helen-Mort-2.pdf
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic