Words the Turtle Taught Me

Susan’s fourth collection of poetry, Words the Turtle Taught Me, has just been published by Cinnamon Press. Described by writer Philip Hoare as ‘vital, glorious, salutary’, the collection grew out of Susan’s recent poetry residency with the Marine Conservation Society. Fostering engagement with endangered ocean species, it blends science with shamanism, contemporary ecological peril with ancient myth.

Thirty Coastal Readings for Thirty Threatened Species

To mark the publication of Words the Turtle Taught Me, Susan is embarking on a tour of thirty venues around the coast of the UK. She will be performing endangered marine species-themed poetry in arts centres and beach cafés, at Universities and Wildlife Trust Visitor Centres from Cornwall to Northumberland, from Edinburgh to Brighton.

World Animal Day

Susan is honoured to be World Animal Day poet-in-residence, helping to raise awareness of, and generate support for, this global animal welfare initiative. Each year, she’s invited to write a new poem, the first of which, focusing on endangered species and extinction, was unveiled and circulated on World Animal Day, October 4th 2015. Other subjects with which she has engaged include the controversial issue of de-extinction and the theme of ocean debris – most notably, the injuries/deaths sustained by marine creatures when they become entangled in discarded fishing gear or ingest plastic rubbish that they mistake for prey.

British Animal Studies Network

Susan also much enjoys being poet-in-residence with the British Animal Studies Network, facilitated by the University of Strathclyde. The Network’s themed conferences always attract a wide range of participants and attendees including historians, geographers, artists, writers, sociologists and vets. In the past few years, Susan has been commissioned to write animal-focused poems on the subject of ‘smelling’ and ‘hearing’, while the subject for the 2018 conference is ‘sex’.


Susan is delighted to be poetry editor of Zoomorphic, the online literary journal that features work in celebration and defence of animals. Nine digital issues have already been published, as has a first print anthology, Driftfish, themed around marine species. Including poetry and prose by a wide range of international writers, the anthology was launched in Brighton at the ONCA Centre for Arts and Ecology, alongside Zoomorphic visual art and audio poetry, as part of the Do You Speak Seagull? Festival.


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