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Geopoetry 2020

01 October 2020
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Event type:
Organised by:
Geological Society Events
Event status:
Deadline: 1 March 2020

This event is to follow up the first Geological Society's Geopoetry Day held in 2011.  

Rocks have long inspired poets (refer to Burns' "O my Luve's like a red, red rose" poem 2794): "Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun".

To the present day poets are similarly inspired.  Michael McKimm's Fossil Sunshine (2013) and "MAP, Poems after William Smith's Geological Map of 1815" (2015) showed how geological subject matter from Geopoetry 2011 could inspire poets: "...the poems here make Smith's map anew in moving and surprising ways".  

The Jurassic Coast Poems (2017) by Sarah Acton, the Jurassic resident poet, showed continued inspiration: "We hear the red rock Speak in ripples".

This gathering, to be held on National Poetry Day (1 October 2020) is hosted by the Geological Society (in conjunction with the Central Scotland Group), The Scottish Poetry Library and the Edinburgh Geological Society and will bring together poets and geoscientists to further encourage the rocks to speak.

Activities include:

  • Geopoetry Walk past Dynamic Earth and on to Arthur's Seat (Geology and Poetry in the field) - Yvonne Reddick, UCLancs
  • Schools Geopoetry competition winners
  • Poets and Geologists telling their stories about rocks, poems and influences interspersed with readings (SPL) with contributions by Sarah Acton (Poet in Residence, Jurassic Coast), Michael McKimm (Geological Society) and Norman Bissell (Scottish Centre for Geopoetics)
  • Geopoetry Workshop: individuals present poems for discussion and feedback
  • Edinburgh/Scottish poets with geological gifts, Ken Cockburn (Edinburgh Poetry Tours) at Panmure House

Call for contributions - deadline 1 March 2020

The organisers will be seeking contributions, which will form the basis of a programme of talks, walks, readings and workshops and ultimately a publication in the following areas:
  • Geo-themes: poetry about rocks, geologists, geological sites
  • Geo-images: poetry that uses earth and ocean images
  • Geology and Society: poetry drawn from earth and society interaction
  • Geoscience and the poetic form: Geopoets' influences, inspirations, histories

These are to be submitted to the Geological Society ( by 1 March 2020.

English language translations must be provided for poems in different languages.

Organising Committee

  • Patrick Corbett, Heriot-Watt University
  • Stuart Harker, Consultant
  • Phil Ringrose, Equinor/NTNU
  • Michael McKimm, Geological Society
  • Bob Gatliff
  • Asif Khan, Scottish Poetry Library
  • Tom Kelly, Central Scotland Regional Group
  • Carol Cotterill, BGS
  • Dorrik Stow, Heriot-Watt University
  • Lara Reid, Friends of Hugh Miller Society
  • Norman Bissell, Scottish Centre for Geopoetics

Geolsoc Contact

The Geological Society

The Geological Society
Burlington House