Poet in residence

Chris Poundwhite – Poet in residence

For the first time, Wealden Literary Festival has its own poet in residence.

Chris Poundwhite – Wealden Literary Festival poet in residence for 2018 – is a poet concerned with landscape, ecology, and place.

Chris has always loved the natural world and the words we write about it. His deeply felt affinity for nature forms the subject of his poetry, which has been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies. It also led him to study a Masters in 20th Century English Literature, where he focused on the relations between poetry, nature and science. His dissertation was on English-language haiku, which can be understood as a kind of ecopoetry. From 2009 – 2016 Chris sat on the committee of the British Haiku Society. He is the founder and editor of Gull, a zine of short ecoliterature and art.

Chris has been teaching poetry and running workshops since 2009, and has appeared at many festivals including the Bournemouth Literary Festival, the Winchester Writers’ Festival, and SALT: Festival of the Sea and Environment, amongst others. He also curates festivals that engage with place and environment.

Chris started Go to the Pine – which offers ecopoetry courses and workshops –  in response to a growing sense that people need more ways to connect with the natural world, and that the world needs us to care more about it. Go to the Pine borrows its name from famed poet Matsuo Bashō’s statement that we should “go to the pine to learn of the pine, go to the bamboo to learn of the bamboo”.

During the course of the weekend, Chris will be leading an ecopoetry workshop and reading new work he has created in response to the surroundings at Boldshaves.