“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree”
I remember hearing Paul Robeson singing that song in my
childhood and those lines have always stayed in memory. We all have enormous
affection for trees but our knowledge of them is often very shallow. When I was
writing my novel The Good Messenger,
the first part of which is set in woodland, I became acutely aware that I
actually knew very little about trees.
My exploration took me to a book called What’s that tree? This made me realise how much more there was to
explore, so I arranged a meeting with the Woodland Trust. From that has now
come a project 26 Trees which will
pair 26 writers with 26 tree species in different parts of the British isles.
The Trust will also suggest areas of woodland for you to visit and track down
the tree that has been randomly assigned to you. Take a look at https://treecharter.uk/get-involved.html.
So we are looking for writers who would like to take part in
what promises to be an exciting project in which 26 will work in partnership
with the Woodland Trust. The project will culminate in late November with
National Tree Week, but we want to sign up our writers as soon as possible so
that you can start thinking, researching and writing. We will send the chosen
26 writers (‘first come’ etc but also with an eye to geographical spread) a
full brief when we kick the project off in a few weeks’ time. We will be
looking for each writer to produce a sestude (exactly 62 words) inspired by your
tree and a background piece of prose about aspects of the tree discovered in
your research journeys.
13. guelder rose
20. field maple
23. scots pine
26. wild service
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