Susan’s fourth collection of poetry, Words the Turtle Taught Me, published by Cinnamon Press, grew out of her writing residency with the Marine Conservation Society and their campaign to raise awareness of, and inspire conservation action around, thirty threatened ocean species.
Fostering engagement with Atlantic puffins and sperm whales, pink sea fans and frilled sharks, it also includes a long essay – part nature diary, part memoir, part manifesto – in which Susan explores the process of researching and writing the poems.
Words the Turtle Taught Me was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.
Endorsements and Reviews
Cut and precise, archaic and innovative, transcendent and in-the-moment… 'Words the Turtle Taught Me' comes as a vital, glorious and salutary lesson for us all
– Philip Hoare, author of 'Leviathan'
A marvellous feat of trans-species imagination
– Plumwood Mountain
Beautiful and 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
– Andy Brown, poet & professor
Susan Richardson’s poems are astonishing!…The turtles, sharks et al. have indeed taught her new words, rhythms and sonically stunning forms
– Chris Kinsey, poet & nature writer
Richardson is adept at mixing wit with sorrow… A clarion call on behalf of the ocean and its creatures
– New Welsh Review
Intricate, moving, and often humorous, this work … draws our attention to the ecological challenges of our time
– Ted Hughes Award judges
Multi-media Poetry Show
Over a two-year period, Susan toured her Words the Turtle Taught Me multi-media poetry show to venues all around the coast of the UK. She performed in arts centres and beach cafés, at universities and Wildlife Trust visitor centres from Norfolk to Edinburgh, from Cornwall to the Isle of Man.
An amazing performer – wonderfully inspiring… sharp, vibrant, dynamic, original – Write Angle
Susan Richardson’s work sparkles and startles by turn…remarkable and challenging – Twelve Rivers
A call to arms, a way into the plight of creatures oft forgotten and overlooked by land-dwelling humans… giving us something bright to hold on to amidst even the deepest of losses – ONCA Gallery
Beautifully presented with fascinating, funny and moving between-poem anecdotes – Words & Ears