An Arctic Angel Visits!
Susan's amazing confidence, energy, intelligence, humour and great skill as a performance/poet will hit you instantly. It's her fourth visit to WA and we are thrilled to have her back!
She's performed from Hay to Adelaide, four years as poet/performer on Radio 4's Saturday Live, and on BBC2 covering the Chelsea Flower Show. She's currently poet-in-residence both with the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day, and the British Animal Studies Network, facilitated by the University of Strathclyde.
With the publication of her poetry collections, Where the Air is Rarefied and Creatures of the Intertidal Zone, inspired by her Northern journeys, environmental issues and the wildlife of the region, Susan's childhood vision of travelling round the world to write about animals was finally fulfilled.
Her travels have taken her to the Arctic. Thanks to a Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship, she journeyed through Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland in the footsteps of an intrepid eleventh century female Viking. On her return, she was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive her Fellowship medal. She has since made several more writing and wildlife-related visits to the Arctic and sub-Arctic.
She'll take you as close as one could be in autumnal English Bath, right to the heart of...arctic climes (Michael Withey, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute), She expanded our vision. ...an opened up our imagination and deepened our understanding of issues around climate change (Shirley Abranches, Membership Officer -Women's Environmental Network) Very inspiring! (Laureen Benton, London Groups and Health Officer (WEN) ...lively, thought-provoking and funny. (Kate Metcalf, London Groups Officer (WEN))
Animals take centre stage in her books: 'Words the Turtle Taught Me' features both marine species-themed poetry and an extended essay on the process of writing about endangered creatures, and it emerged from a dream poetry residency with the Marine Conservation Society. This follows 'Creatures of the Intertidal Zone', inspired by journeys through the increasingly fragile Arctic environment, and 'Skindancing' which explores human-animal metamorphosis and our intimacy with, and alienation from, the wild and our animal selves.
Her first significant travel and wildlife experiences came after being awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Massachusetts, and a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to pursue postgraduate research at the University of Toronto, Canada. While there, she observed both brown and black bears while out on wilderness hikes.
A stimulating two years on a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship in Australia, followed. Based in Adelaide as a writer and researcher, Susan was awarded Visiting Academic status for the length of her stay. More encounters with wildlife, from marsupials to tree snakes to fairy penguins.
She has since returned to her native Wales where she performs, educates and writes, while watching grey seals and cetaceans on the cliffs of the West Coast. She's been invited into membership of Academi in recognition of her contribution to literature in Wales and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
... a suspended state, caught between the us we presume to be and the species with which we share this watery, fragile planet. Cut and precise, archaic and innovative, transcendent and in-the-moment, she sees the life of the sea as a mirror of ourselves...beautifully written compendium summons up the sea ... which now hovers in the balance...'Words The Turtle Taught Me' comes as a vital, glorious .. lesson for us all (Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan & The Sea Inside). Her poems are astonishing! By 'making the strange familiar' they foster engagement with endangered marine creatures ...create empathy for the beleaguered alien...The turtles, sharks et al. have indeed taught her new words, rhythms and sonically stunning forms. The prose chapter which charts her quest to make true poetry from research and ecological dilemmas is fascinating...details how she balances observation with 'unseeing', science with shamanism and myth (Chris Kinsey, poet & nature writer). Susan Richardson's poems...show how art and writing can furnish ... challenging reflections on our relationship with animals... precise and playful; rhapsodic and rebellious; singing of the sea otter's pelt as much as warning of the perils of marine debris...The prose piece Thirty Ways of Looking at the Sea reflects on the author's role as poet and campaigner for marine conservation - part writing memoir, part manifesto, part nature diary, ...lucent, engaging prose (Andy Brown, poet & University of Exeter professor). ...insight and passion for wildlife shines through in this hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking collection... takes the reader on a journey...with humour, wit and wonderful storytelling..(Sam Fanshawe, CEO Marine Conservation Society).
We hope you come along and meet this fascinating performere! Townhouse Pub/Bistro, Petersfield, 20th March at 7.15 for 7.30. Do come early and have yourself a great meal at Townhouse!