Climate Change Book Club: August 2021

You are invited to join us for a discussion of Climate Poetry at our Virtual Climate Change Book Club Event on Thursday, August 26 at 7:00 pm.

In May, At our last virtual Book Club conversation, we focused on Climate Fiction in an attempt to explore various ways the climate change message is delivered and received. Interest in poetry has undergone a revival in the last few years, highlighted by the widely acclaimed poem spoken by Amanda Gorman at the Biden-Harris Inauguration. What many people don’t know is that Ms. Gorman has also lent her talents to the issue of climate change. Here she is, reciting her poem “Earthrise” dedicated to Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project and first heard at the Los Angeles Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in August 2018: Amanda Gorman “Earthrise”

It’s hard to imagine not being stirred by those words, or the words of other poets who have taken up the cause. Exploring climate poetry makes good summer reading — find your favorites and bring them to the virtual Book Club event on August 27.

A quick online search resulted in quite a few selections of climate change poetry. One that caught our eye was Here: Poems for the Planet edited by Elizabeth Coleman. By including over 125 diverse poetic voices, this anthology approaches the impending environmental crisis with both a sense of urgency and hopefulness. Here looks at the world with a renewed sense of courage, fighting fear that so often leads to indifference and cynicism. The anthology also includes an activist guide, created in tandem with the Union of Concerned Scientists, and an introduction by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

In researching climate poetry, we also found two items of interest on the Academy of American Poets website: Poems about Climate Change and The Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize. The prize recognizes “exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present.” Established in 2019 with support from Treehouse Investments, the prize honors three poets annually. In addition to monetary prizes, all three poems are published in the popular Poem-a-Day series, which is distributed to 500,000 readers.