"The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) is a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.
CCI seeks to transform the global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and the natural capital it represents and, through this, secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth. The CCI partners together combine and integrate research, education, policy and practice to create innovative solutions for society and to foster conservation learning and leadership."
Matt Howard from RSPB on sabbatical at CCI as our first Poet in Residence.
Matt works in Fundraising for the RSPB Eastern England team. He will be spending his month of sabbatical time at CCI as our first poet in residence, starting on Monday 14 August.
Part of Matt’s role with RSPB is to explore engagement with the arts and he is the lead on the RSPB / The Rialto Nature and Place poetry competition which now additionally partners with CCI and BirdLife.
Matt’s poetry has been published in leading international magazines and journals such as The Poetry Review, New Statesman and The Dark Horse. His debut pamphlet, The Organ Box, was published in 2014.
Throughout his sabbatical, Matt will be based in the Artist in Residence studio (floor 2M of the East Tower). He will break his time up into one week a month, and he will also be at CCI some Fridays over the next few months.
In addition to providing Matt with time to write and network at CCI, the residency has a number of ambitions, all with the aim to gain a deeper understanding of how creative writing can help provide public engagement opportunities and deliver conservation objectives. Matt will be working to:
- Host poetry events at CCI with leading poets
- Develop the Nature and Place competition to increase its fundraising potential
- Work with Modern Poetry in Translation magazine on an issue of international environmental poetry
- Facilitate opportunities for other early career poets to engage with CCI to produce new work for publication and performance.
- One to ones with people interested in developing their own writing and reading
- Establish a workshop group for those interested in writing new poems
- Joining a mailing list to receive a fortnightly poem from the existing canon on a nature / conservation theme, with an explanatory note by him.