The Great Waking Up! The writing world responds to the climate emergency.

  • DATE

    17 April 2024

  • TIME

    5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    Manchester Poetry Library
    Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M15 3BG

A live event about the writing world responding to the climate emergency

A free live and online literature event at Manchester Poetry Library, hosted by the Centre of Migration and Postcolonial Studies (MAPS), Manchester Metropolitan University.

Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement (2015) said that writers were asleep with regards to climate change, that there had been a great apathy from publishers too. Not enough writers were writing about this oncoming catastrophe and any book attempting the subject simply fell into sci-fi or horror as a genre. Today, just a decade later, the opposite is true. There has been a ‘great waking up’ in the literary world around climate change.

Not only have we seen novels with massive sales figures (The Overstory, The Ministry for the Future etc) but writers in the UK have never been more active and articulate about climate change and there are now several active climate change writers’ groups. This unique panel brings key climate change writers’ groups together for the first time to talk about why writers need to be awake and active in this current crisis, and what impact can literary activism make. What can writers now do? How can we unite to face the coming changes in our climate?

This event will be chaired by Monique Roffey, writer and Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Writing School, co-founder of Writers Rebel, Ambassador for Just Stop Oil.


James Miller, novelist, Writers Rebel, a multi-platform writer led activist group attached to Extinction Rebellion, enabling writers to write and speak about climate change. Their first live event in Trafalgar square, in October 2019, with 40 writers, was an historic live literature event. They run a weekly blog and newsletter and have published hundreds of writers on climate change. Their live literary events held in rebellion spaces have been unique.

Chris Redmond, poet and host for legendary poetry night Tongue Fu, one half of Hot Poets, an award-winning, internationally focused CIC, working to communicate climate change science and action through spoken word poetry and the real stories of ecological innovation and hope. Hot Poets forges partnerships between artists, research institutions, scientists, charities, corporates and policy makers to make the case for creative collaboration as being necessary and integral to the needs of a changing world.

Leena Norms, poet and podcaster. Her podcastNo Books on a Dead Planet, a monthly podcast discussing climate change and books about climate change, has gathered around 50K listeners.

Jacqueline Saphra, poet and organiser of Poets for the Planet, inspired by protest round the world, PFTP believe that the poetry community in the UK is in a unique position to call on a range of voices, experiences and passions to respond to this crucial moment of challenge. PFTP curate and create poetry events, activities and publications to inspire, disturb, provoke, empower and mobilise. They collaborate with protest, environmental and other movements to shake up, alert and alarm from the grass roots to government. They encourage individual, local and community projects to bring together poetry and activism with thoughtfulness, humour, humanity and mischief. PFTP are inclusive, intersectional, multi-faith, multi-lingual and multi-generational.