Read: I dropped out of school to protest the Climate EmergencyBlue Sandford

Blue Sandford at an Extinction Rebellion demonstration.

  I did my GCSEs last year, a few weeks after the April Rebellion. I just scraped through – when you’ve spent two weeks on the barricades watching people being carried away by the police and hearing scary facts about the future of the planet, exams don’t seem that important. Why do I care how […]

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Read: Green GuiltAnouchka Grose

Photograph of Anouchka Grose, smiling.

  Much is made of the relationships, the intersections, the similarities and differences between various feelings and emotional states. How do you tell envy from jealousy? Why does love so readily turn to hate? What are the tonal variations between shame and embarrassment, fear and anxiety, guilt and remorse?  I find myself churning over these […]

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Read: A dispatch from the French AlpsNatasha Randall

A black and white photograph of the writer Natasha Randall.

  There were blue tits nesting in the eaves above our front door this spring. The parent birds brought beakfuls of fat green worms and spindly flying bugs for the calling babies. We moved into a small gite, the lower floor of a chalet at the top of a small French mountain just a month […]

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Read: Q&A with John McCullough, Hawthornden Prize 2020 winnerJohn McCullough

  Tell us a bit about your current work on environmental issues and the pandemic, and your book about personal and social anxiety. My collection of poems Reckless Paper Birds contains a large number of poems that inhabit my experiences of severe anxiety and vulnerability. Since it came out, I’ve written a number of poems […]

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Feral in the BurbsSir Simon Schama

Portrait of Sir Simon Schama wearing casual clothes.

  The Hudson Valley suburbs, I am happy to report, remain a savage place.  Two days ago (in the first week of August 2020) we took a direct hit from Tropical Storm Isaias and bosky turned brutal. White oaks and red maples, shag bark hickories and tulip trees bent, broke or uprooted, smashing down on […]

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Read: Animal EdenZakia Carpenter-Hall

A black and white portrait of the writer Zakia Carpenter-Hall.

  Animal Eden   It was the year of the viral video,  nature coming out of hiding. We were supposed to believe  that within weeks, animal life  had overwritten us with their joy  and reckless abandon, as if instincts  told them like radio waves signalling  through the ether that humans  are under quarantine and no […]

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Read: Blog From the Treetops in the Roald Dahl WoodsAmy Caitlin

  ‘On a hill above the valley there was a wood.  In the wood there was a huge tree.  Under the tree there was a hole.  In the hole lived Mr Fox and Mrs Fox and their four Small Foxes.’    These are the opening lines of Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. It’s July […]

Read More… from Read: Blog From the Treetops in the Roald Dahl WoodsAmy Caitlin

Read: William Morris and the Art of DissentClare Conway

William Morris wearing an Extinction Rebellion badge.

  It was a windswept Saturday afternoon in early February this year, as I huddled by the doorway of the Coach House at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith waiting to meet the writer Zakia Carpenter-Hall. “… the wallpaper man.” A snippet from a breeze-snatched conversation interrupted my thoughts. William Morris: Wallpaper Man. Somewhat irrationally the words irked […]

Read More… from Read: William Morris and the Art of DissentClare Conway

Read: On RiskA L Kennedy

  Dundee, where I grew up, is currently among the world’s coolest small cities. It has a V&A and hotels surrounding the V&A, not just to mask the city centre from visitors. In my day, Dundee was post-industrial, reliant on a few failing employers, full of health and social risks, particularly for the poor. But […]

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Read: Q&A With Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ Author James CantonJames Canton

The author James Canton standing in front of the astonishing width of a large oak tree.

  Your new book is about a very special tree and – perhaps – it’s also about our relationship to time, human time versus ‘nature time’? Could you tell us a bit more about what inspired you to write it? Has your relationship with this tree changed the way you perceive other trees? Can you […]

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Read: For a Coming ExtinctionPascale Petit

  For a Coming Extinction   (after W. S. Merwin)     You whom we have named Charger, Challenger, Great King, and Noor the shining one,   now that you are at the brink of extinction, I am writing to those of you   who have reached the black groves of the sky, where you […]

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Read: Birds Under LockdownNicholas Royle

The author Nick Royle reading a book in the bath.

  On the last day before the hospitality sector in England locked down, my wife and I sat in a hotel garden in Cumbria watching the comings and goings at a bird feeder. The occasion was my birthday and the dinner had been booked for months. It just happened to fall on the last day […]

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Read: Derail The Mayan TrainHomero Aridjis

A black and white photograph of Mexican author Homero Aridjis, smiling.

  This blog was originally published on July 9th 2020. This week, on his first trip abroad as Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is meeting  with Donald Trump in Washington, presumably to celebrate the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, an updated version of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. This visit has been harshly criticized […]

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Read: Where Are Their Cats? Jessica Townsend

  I remember the moment of panic on the tube as it clattered towards Waterloo. Was I really going to go through with this? I was in my mid-fifties, a grandmother to two, and I had agreed to be part of a topless protest on Waterloo Bridge. What was I thinking? Let’s begin with the easy […]

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Read: On Being a Conscious EvolutionaryManda Scott

  The world is holding its breath.  We are in lockdown, each of us caught somewhere along the spectrum between hell and heaven and the sense of waiting pushes down on my shoulders and steals my breath.  If I go up the hill to ask What do you want of me? (I live on the […]

Read More… from Read: On Being a Conscious EvolutionaryManda Scott

Read: Tear Gas or Tea? A Very English ArrestBeth Pitts

Photograph of the author Beth Pitts on a rainy day.

  As I lay in the middle of the road outside Downing Street, surrounded by police, awaiting my imminent arrest, I looked up at a cloudless blue sky. It felt like a sign that the rain had finally stopped and, as I enjoyed the sun on my face, one of London’s famous parakeets flew overhead. […]

Read More… from Read: Tear Gas or Tea? A Very English ArrestBeth Pitts

Read: Telling the Story of Climate CrisisPhilip Seargeant

There was a meme circulating a few months ago which contrasted the competing virtues of Greta Thunberg and the Dutch inventor Boyan Slat as poster children for the climate movement. Both Greta and Boyan are young, idealistic and passionately committed to environmental causes. They were both still teenagers when they first came to public prominence. […]

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Read: Floods and Plagues and Other ThingsEdward Platt

When the sun started shining, earlier in the month, I couldn’t decide whether it made lockdown harder or easier to bear. To begin with, the answer seemed obvious: even people who don’t have a garden or a balcony could still get to a park for their daily exercise, and those that had to self-isolate could […]

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Read: Where Dogs Die, Change is Still PossibleHarry Eckman

I only went to a dog meat market once. If you don’t know what a dog meat market is, it’s exactly as it sounds. It’s where they slaughter and butcher dogs and sell their meat. You can find them throughout Asia – I went to Moran Market in South Korea. As the co-founder of an […]

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Read: ARE YOU HERE FOR THIS?Salena Godden

ARE YOU HERE FOR THIS? < RANT WRITTEN TO BE READ LOUD  WRITERS REBELLION, TRAFALGAR SQUARE, OCTOBER 2019 > THIS IS THE WRITERS REBELLION CALLING! I AM HERE FOR THIS! ARE YOU HERE FOR THIS? CALLING ALL MY BOOKISH COMRADES. ALL THE INKY-FINGERED INTROVERTS, THE BESPECTACLED PEN PUSHERS, CALLING ALL WRITERS AND READERS, BOOK LOVERS […]

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