Eco-poet Helen Moore will present 2018 Hay Festival INSPIRE Lecture


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to announce that award-winning Eco poet Helen Moore will present her work entitled ‘Is love the answer? Personal and planetary wellbeing through the lens of poetry’ at this year’s Hay Festival on May 31.

Helen Moore

Helen is the winner of the annual Institute for Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) Lecture, organised by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK & Ireland (ASLE-UK).

The INSPIRE lecture is competition-based and aims to showcase research which explores the relationship between literature and the sustainability debate. The judging panel invited submissions that explore how literature, in any of its forms, responds to and is shaped by our capacity to know the natural world in the context of debates around sustainability.

Helen is an award-winning Eco poet based in NE Scotland. She has published two poetry collections, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins (Shearsman Books, 2012), acclaimed by John Kinsella as ‘a milestone in the journey of Eco poetics’. Her poems, essays and reviews have been published widely, and some of her poetry has been translated into Italian. A third collection, The Mother Country, is due in 2019. 

She also collaborates in making poetry films. 'Green Spin', made with Howard Vause, won third prize in the Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2013. 

​Based in Moray, Helen has an MA (with distinction) in Comparative and General Literature from Edinburgh University and is a qualified Forest School leader. 

As a freelance socially engaged artist, Helen facilitates poetry/creative writing programmes, often around green themes and to support health and wellbeing in the community.  

She has collaborated on a range of ecologically oriented projects, and in July 2016 completed a 21 month long residency with ‘Last Tree Dreaming’, a Heritage Lottery funded community project raising awareness of the heritage and future of Selwood Forest in Somerset.   

The lecture will be followed by a public discussion between Helen, Dr Jane Davidson, UWTSD Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sustainability and Engagement, Director of INSPIRE and former Welsh Government Minister for Sustainability, and Professor Brycchan Carey, Chair of ASLE-UKI.

Dr Davidson said: “Each year, it is an enormous pleasure to engage with talented artists interested in nature and the environment who bring us new understandings due to their exceptional facility with words. The competition enables Hay visitors to witness the extraordinary talent that lies in our universities and create an opportunity for new understandings. I'm really looking forward to exploring what lies behind this year's winning lecture with a Festival audience.”

In the five years since the competition was launched, previous winners have addressed how re-reading Shakespeare through a sustainability lens can unearth fascinating insights into the way we used to live and inform our ideas for the future; they have explored how Nature Writing has adapted to our new environmental concerns and ecological perspectives in our post-colonial globalized economy and looked at the importance of inter-related ecosystems remaining in balance. The competition has demonstrated unequivocally that stories for change can play a crucially important in re-interpreting our world for the benefit of future generations.

Brycchan Carey is Professor of English at Northumbria University and Chair of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK and Ireland. He said: “ASLE-UKI is delighted to continue supporting this important competition. For many in today’s highly urbanised society, literature is a direct and tangible link to nature, encouraging them to create and nurture a more sustainable world. Helen Moore's award-winning poetry is at the heart of this year's lecture. She asks searching questions about the place of literature, nature, and love in the face of our current environmental crisis. ‘Is Love the Answer’ will delight anyone who has poetry and the natural world close to their heart.

Dr Brycchan Carey, Dr Jane Davidson, Rachel Dowse,

Note to Editor

INSPIRE (Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is directed by Dr Jane Davidson. INSPIRE is a key component in the University’s mission to embed sustainability into its own practices and to provide its students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will equip them for their future contribution to the economy, community and environment.

INSPIRE @ UWTSD won the 2013 Guardian award for the most effective sustainability initiative in higher education in the UK, the 2014 Soil Association Gold Award for its support for local producers and in 2015, UWTSD rose up from 113th in the People and Planet University League to 8th in the UK and 1st in Wales.


The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK & Ireland (ASLE-UKI) was founded in 1998. Its aim is to represent and support scholars and writers, in the Atlantic archipelago and beyond, who are interested in the environment and its expression in the cultural imagination.


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