New project honours spirit of naturalist John Muir

John Muir
John Muir

A new project marking the 175th birthday of Scotland’s pioneer ecologist John Muir was launched on Sunday.

An author himself who used his nature writing as part of groundbreaking campaigns to protect the environment, Muir would have appreciated Walking With Poets, a new enterprise taking writing about the landscape into the 21st century.

Using new media, four poets will document their experiences during month-long residencies at four of Scotland’s botanic gardens.

Each of the Gardens – Benmore, Argyll, in June; Edinburgh in July; Logan, Dumfries and Galloway, in August; and Dawyck, the Borders, in September – will host a month-long residency by a poet. The poets will share their experience of the Gardens using poetry, tweets, blogs, recordings and photographs which will be uploaded onto a Walking With Poets website.

The poets will also run a series of writing workshops and guided walks at the gardens for members of the public. Poets are Sue Butler (Benmore), Mandy Haggith (Edinburgh), Jean Atkin (Logan), and Gerry Loose (Darwick).

The £24,800 Year of Natural Scotland funding Creative Scotland awarded to the project aims to change the way we think about poetry and nature. and how the two interact with each other.