Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Paperback Book Launch
Thursday 18th Feb: 6 - 7.30pm GMT. Live-stream.
Reading their Letters live will be authors including Booker Prize winning poet Ben Okri; award-winning novelist and co-founder of Letters to the Earth, Anna Hope; environmental lawyer and policy advisor Farhana Yamin; Head of Earth Systems Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Stefan Rhamstorf; and climate justice essayist and co-host of the Hot Take podcast Mary Annaïse Heglar.
Authors from South Africa to America will bring their hopes, despair, uncertainty, rage and questions as we explore together: What next for climate action in the age of pandemic?
It was exactly 2 years ago when we first issued the callout for Letters in response to the climate and ecological emergency. People everywhere took a moment to switch off the noise of daily distraction and horror, from business as usual, to write a letter. Their voices resounded on the streets and in the venues of communities worldwide.
2021 and the world has changed. We may still be deep in what Ben Okri calls the ‘fires of initiation’, but we are also experiencing the beginnings of a shift in worldview: The health of the planet and of our own future health cannot be separated.
On the day that HarperCollins publishes the Letters to the Earth paperback, we'll be bringing our authors together for the first time in a live broadcast to explore our deepest emotions, nightmares and dreams for the future and our love of nature, as we find our way forwards in 2021, the 'Year of Climate Action'.
Join us. Be part of the story.
Location: Streamed across all major social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & Instagram, including directly from this page.
Booking: There's no need to book a ticket, but for those of you wishing to have a diary-reminder or to make a donation, you can book via Eventbrite.
Order: You can order your copy of the book now from Bookshop.org
Authors in conversation:
Ben Okri is a Nigerian-born British poet, playwright and novelist, winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1991. He has published eleven novels, four books of Short Stories, two collections of essays, and three volumes of poems. His books have won numerous international Prizes including the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Africa, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the Chianti Ruffino-Antico Fattore International Literary Prize, and the Premio Grinzane Cavour Prize. Recently, his Grenfell poem, on Channel Four YouTube, has received more than 6million visits on Facebook.
Anna Hope is a co-founder and co-editor of Letters to the Earth, and author of 3 novels, Wake, The Ballroom and Expectation.Wake was called ‘a masterclass in historical fiction’ by The Observer and shortlisted for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards in the UK. The Ballroom was a New York Times Editors’ Pick and won the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE award in 2018. Previously an actor, Anna is perhaps best known for her Doctor Who role of Novice Hame.
Professor Stefan Rahmstorf is a German oceanographer, climatologist, professor, and Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. His work focuses on the role of ocean currents in climate change, past and present. He was one of the lead authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and co-founder of the blog Real Climate, which has been described by Nature as one of the top-5 science blogs in 2006 and included among the 15 best environmental websites by Time in 2008.
Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, author and activist and an Expert Adviser to the Climate Vulnerable Forum. Farhana has advised leaders and countries on climate negotiations law and strategy for 30 years. She was lead author for three assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change covering adaptation, mitigation and development policy issues. She is widely credited with getting the goal of net 0 emissions by mid-century into the Paris Agreement. She is also a climate activist and glued herself to Shell HQ in London to highlight their role in slowing climate action. She received recognition as No 2. on the BBC Woman's Hour Power List 2020 with the judges describing her as a "powerhouse of climate justice".
Mary Annaïse Heglar is a climate justice writer and essayist. Her work responds emotionally to the climate crisis, as well as drawing links between racism, colonialism and climate justice. She is the co-host and co-creator of the Hot Take newsletter and podcast, which takes a holistic, humorous, and humane look at the way the climate crisis is covered in the media.
Simon Jay is a writer and performer from South London, based in Edinburgh. He has created several shows for The Edinburgh Fringe and works with charities to promote creativity in underrepresented communities.
Claire Rousell ia a weaver of stories of plants and seeds. An illustrator, crafter, researcher, poet and brewer of herbal potions, she collects and connects ancient and new knowledge to think into the future. She is driven by a passion for a more just food system. In the last few years she has travelled over 8000 kilometres meeting and linking people involved with seed sovereignty and to ask what it might mean to 'live in the future'. Her work is focused on developing spaces for ‘living in the future’, where alternative ways of doing food, community and education can be envisaged through co-created events, zines, community supported agriculture, sculpture and writing.
The Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis paperback brings together over 100 letters in response to the combined crises of the climate and ecological emergency and the coronavirus pandemic. Letters written by all of us: parents and children; artists and activists; scientists and politicians.
With an introduction by Emma Thompson, illustrations from Lost Words' Jackie Morris, and featuring two new letters written in lockdown by Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri and Skin’s star Freya Mavor.
The book is published on sustainably sourced paper (FSC) and all royalties go towards ongoing creative campaigning for environmental justice.
'All power to this amazing project.'
'Makes sense of the climate crisis in a whole new way'
‘The personal, the poetic, the dramatic, the salvo, the call to action: it’s all here, in this timely anthology’.
‘A beautiful book calling for us all to look after the place we call home…Read it, then buy it for everyone you know.’
‘An outpouring of grief, anger, hope, love and loss – a collection of letters penned by many thousands have been distilled into this powerful book. There are moments of real beauty in these pages.’
‘Occasionally I come across books that have the power to influence lives, and this I would count as one of them.’
BEN EAGLE THINKING COUNTRY