David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ

Date: 20th November

Time: 6.30-8.30pm


Poetry for the Black-tailed Godwit and other rarities.

Join us to celebrate the rare Black-tailed Godwit through poetry and art, and find out about the project working to save them from extinction in Cambridgeshire’s wetlands, part of the national conservation project Back from the Brink.

Back from the Brink's Project Godwit is a partnership project between the RSPB and WWT and was set up to secure the future of breeding Black-tailed Godwits in the UK. Black-tailed Godwits have declined rapidly in the fens and Project Godwit is combining habitat management, research, and head starting ( a breeding and release program) to combat this.


With a new poem and artwork by Back From The Brink artist in residence Katherine McMahon, performances from poets Elaine Ewart, Stewart Carswell, and Matt Howard; interactive activities, a talk with conservationists from Welney Wetland Centre – and a chance to find out what you can do to help – it’s going to be a beautiful evening!

Here's a bit more about our wonderful poets -

Matt Howard lives in Norwich, where he works for the RSPB. His first full collection, Gall, was published by The Rialto in 2018 and was winner of the 2018 East Anglian Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize in 2019. He has been Poet in Residence at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and The Wordsworth Trust.

Stewart Carswell is from the Forest of Dean and currently lives in Cambridgeshire, where he helps to organise the Fen Speak open mic night. His poems have been published in Envoi, Ink Sweat & Tears, Algebra of Owls, and The Fenland Reed. His debut pamphlet is Knots and branches (Eyewear, 2016).

Elaine Ewart is a writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, particularly concerned with our relationship with the rest of nature at a time of ecological crisis. In 2015 she won second prize in the New Welsh Writing Awards and was shortlisted for the Resurgence Ecopoetry Prize. She held the post of Fenland Poet Laureate in 2012, and has recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Essex. Elaine co-organises Fen Speak, an open mic spoken word event in Ely, and has also worked as a wildlife volunteer for WWT Welney and the RSPB.

Katherine McMahon is a poet, currently an artist in residence with Back From The Brink, and will be debuting a new poem and artwork inspired by the Project Godwit, based on a collaborative poetry workshop at WWT Welney's Godwit Festival in June. They have performed across the UK, and their work has been published in magazines and anthologies including Gutter and Shoreline of Infinity. Their first pamphlet was published by Stewed Rhubarb, and they debuted their spoken word show, Fat Kid Running, in 2017. They aim to use writing to build a more just, more sustainable, and kinder world through community and solidarity. You can find them online at http://katherinemcmahon.org

Jess Owen is the Engagement Officer for Project Godwit, and will be talking about the work of the project - including the successful breeding programme at WWT Welney,


There is no charge for entry to this event and everyone is welcome!