In Our Element – with Linda France
A poet’s enquiry into climate change.
Is the climate crisis asking for radical system change and a change of hearts and minds? Does it reflect a crisis of the imagination, of consciousness, of global ethics? How might extracting, consuming, travelling and working less benefit our well-being as well as simply bringing down carbon emissions? Across ten episodes, poet Linda France talks to activists, engineers, conservationists, academics, thinkers, poets and musicians around the world to hear their take on these questions.
In Our Element is a Sonderbug production with New Writing North, in association with Newcastle University, and funded by the Audio Content Fund and Arts Council England.
Listen to all the episodes below, or search in your usual podcast app.
Episode 1: Introduction
In this, the first episode of ten, Linda sets the tone for the series, exploring ecological awareness. We hear insights from poet and playwright Inua Ellams and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham, and poetry from Jorie and Linda too, as well as music composed and performed by two climate activists still at Primary School and Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 1: Introduction” on Spreaker.
Produced by Sonderbug, with New Writing North and Newcastle University and funded by the Audio Content Fund and Arts Council England.
Episode 2: Earth
In this episode, Linda explores the earth element and how soil, food and farming impact our climate. We hear from organic gardener Andrew Davenport and climate justice academic Deborah McGregor whose Anishinabek heritage is central to her world view, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham. With poetry from Linda and Jorie. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 2: Earth” on Spreaker.
Episode 3: Water
Linda investigates the implications of the water element with poet Nancy Campbell, Professor of Engineering Richard Dawson, climate justice creative Suzanne Dhaliwal and US poet Jorie Graham. With poetry from Nancy and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 3: Water” on Spreaker.
Episode 4: Fire
How fossil fuels affect global heating and extreme weather and the legacy of coal mining and colonialism are discussed with Welsh language poet Menna Elfyn, Australian poet John Kinsella and climate campaigner Suzanne Dhaliwal. The Brothers Gillespie sing ‘Tina’s Song’, written for a group protesting against fracking in Lancashire. With poetry from Menna and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 4: Fire” on Spreaker.
Episode 5: Air
Linda visits a windfarm in County Durham with wind engineer Anabel Gammidge and talks to poet Colette Bryce about her poem ‘Turbines in January’. With poetry from Colette and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 5: Air” on Spreaker.
Episode 6: Wood
Wood is an element in the Chinese system, and with conservationist Sian Atkinson, Linda walks in an ancient woodland to explore the importance of trees. Poet Pascale Petit gives insights from her experience of the Amazonian rainforest and tiger forests of India. With poetry from Pascale and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 6: Wood” on Spreaker.
Episode 7: Metal
An element in the Chinese system, metal is explored with Professor of Engineering Richard Dawson and poets Inua Ellams and Charmaine Papertalk Green. With poetry from Inua, Charmaine and Linda. Music by Joshua Green. *Please note this episode contains some strong language.*
Listen to “Episode 7: Metal” on Spreaker.
Episode 8: Space
Space, an element in Buddhist classification, holds all the other elements together. Linda discusses the space opened up by ecological grief with Larry Butler and Sheila Templeton, editors of the anthology Living Our Dying. With poetry from Sheila and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 8: Space” on Spreaker.
Episode 9: Consciousness
We’re guided in reflections on the element of consciousness by Buddhist monk Ajahn Sucitto, and also hear from poet Jorie Graham in America and Professor Deborah McGregor in Canada. With poetry from Ajahn Sucitto and Linda. Music by Joshua Green.
Listen to “Episode 9: Consciousness” on Spreaker.
Episode 10: Regeneration
In this longer final episode, Linda looks to the future, with poetry from John Kinsella, Charmaine Papertalk Green and Linda too. Music by Joshua Green. Produced by Sonderbug, with New Writing North and Newcastle University and funded by the Audio Content Fund and Arts Council England.
Listen to “Episode 10: Regeneration” on Spreaker.