Words the Turtle Taught Me
Susan’s fourth collection of poetry, Words the Turtle Taught Me, published by Cinnamon Press in 2018, was recently shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.
Described by writer Philip Hoare as ‘vital, glorious, salutary’, the collection grew out of Susan’s poetry residency with the Marine Conservation Society. Fostering engagement with endangered ocean species, it blends science with shamanism, contemporary ecological peril with ancient myth.
…a marvellous feat of trans-species imagination – Plumwood Mountain
Intricate, moving, and often humorous, this work evokes a threatened environment and draws our attention to the ecological challenges of our time – Ted Hughes Award judges
If you’d like to order a copy of Words the Turtle Taught Me (£8.99, plus £2.00 p&p), please use the Paypal button below. If you’re ordering from outside the UK, please contact Susan. And if you’d like your book signed, and/or to have a dedication, please say so.
Endorsements of Words the Turtle Taught Me:
Susan Richardson’s work is 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, and vice versa: always changing, always the same. This beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated compendium summons up the sea we always thought it to be, but which now hovers in the balance…Words The Turtle Taught Me comes as a vital, glorious and salutary lesson for us all – Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan & The Sea Inside
Susan Richardson’s poems are astonishing! By ‘making the strange familiar’ they foster engagement with endangered marine creatures and 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 too. It 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 both beautiful and challenging reflections on our relationship with animals…These poems are 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, it documents the writing of the poems in lucent, engaging prose – Andy Brown, poet & University of Exeter professor
None of these poems are premature elegies. They bring endangered species into sight and into mind, sung up from the depths by Susan Richardson as she talks to, and with, them, making skilful use of form and music to meet each creature on its own terms, inviting us to engage with these animals at the brink—and to ask what we might do to prevent them slipping over – Dr David Borthwick, Lecturer in Environmental Literature, University of Glasgow
Susan’s insight and passion for wildlife shines through in this hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking collection… She takes the reader on a journey of underwater discovery with humour, wit and wonderful storytelling….an absolute pleasure to read – Sam Fanshawe, Marine Conservation Society CEO 2005-2016