kin’d & kin’d is a composite ecopoet. The foundations of their collaborative practice are site-specific ecopoetry workshops and editing anthologies of the participants’ work, some examples of which are threaded through this interview.


We recorded our conversation in early 2020 when meeting and talking at length and in luxurious proximity was still possible. The edited transcript on these pages flows un-named, in keeping with their principle of de-centering the self.


In 2019 I attended one of their extraordinary workshops in Aldeburgh on the East Coast of England which is not far from where I live on the Fens. During the pandemic in 2020, when citizens collectively withdrew to care for each other, I signed up for their correspondence course, Connections While Solituding. Both workshops have changed my writing and tuned my senses in ways


kin’d & kin’d in conversation with an’other








Poems from Poemish & Other Languages, Changing Everything Carefully (Elephant Press 2019) were deliberately not attributed to individual poets but to The ONCA/VERT Collective, comprising Patrick Crawford, John Davies, Lola Bunbury-Davies, Elona Hoover, Béatrice Lajous, Ruth Lawrence, Jade Mars, Kate Monson, Persephone Pearl, Jennifer Shepherd, Karen Smith and Ruby Taylor.


Poems from Poemish of the Wildland (Elephant Press, 2019) were written individually or collectively by Jane Buckler, Lola Bunbury-Davies, Catherine Craig, Richard Ings, Kim Lasky, Ruth Lawrence and Karen Smith.


Poems from fabric-ation: slip back to source, a journey of materials (Elephant Press, 2020) were written individually or collectively by Lucy Brennan Shiel, Jane Buckler, Lola Bunbury-Davies, Patrick Crawford, Sudakini Davies, Naomi Foyle, Alice Owen, Karen Smith and Vera Zakharov.





































we’re surprised and delighted

by the Thing

which was three things

but in transit \ in the bag \ on the journey

from plant to palms

has joined itself into one Thing


being a gardener perhaps you know what they are?







head-er-ah col-cheek-ah





















you describe yourselves as

a composite ecopoet

and your work can be







how the world could be

seems so deeply important right now





might the new poetic forms

you’re inventing

be the embodiment of this direction







we don’t include everything participants have written

but we select and curate with minimal editing



it sort of happens by itself



our most recent course fabric-ation

is all about the slip back to source

because every workshop

took participants back

to a moth

or plant

or tree

or animal

or plankton




and we worked back to that source






or that of all the eider farmers around the world

only Icelandic farmers harvest their eiderdown

from the abandoned nests of the duck?

sadly farmers elsewhere often pluck the down

from live birds







often the largely forgotten

often the colonial











yes, I experienced that on

your Changing Everything Carefully course I came to

in the tiny Look Out tower on the beach at Aldeburgh




you had created a space where poem became a verb

and ‘poeming’ was possible as a group







on the first day the room was cosy and deep

the room was dark

the theme was descending into the abyss







we were being inverted

through visual prompts

and meanwhile kin’d was reading a poem out

in that intimate space



on the second day

we came back to the room

to find there was a wall of glass

with a full view of the beach and sea!

the theme was surfacing

and light poured in

startling and energising us





both days we wrote collectively

and collaboratively

we shared our work in ways that

created new poems from our fragments













as participants

we didn’t talk to each other much

perhaps when we were performing elements

but there was an energetic transfer

of something sensuously written

in our collaboration








yes, we’re re-wilding form

and the new ones arise


out of the place

out of the themes













each workshop is made for that place

and that moment



we like Jonathan Skinner’s concept

of po-ethics

where writing can

lean in to

the non-human

to make with nature



we took one fabric each week

 and went wild




not that we told the participants!



















then new forms started arising


like at the Knepp re-wilding project5

we needed

a ballad of the wild land

a migratory villanelle



until all that loosened writing we’d been doing

needed to be brought back in somehow




we’re not allowed to walk free

like the animals






 talking of constraint

is it significant

that the name kin’d & kin’d

is un-gendered?





we don’t deliberately present as non-gendered

we are just aiming to privilege

the non-individual

and our non-human ‘kin’




and we don’t present our work as feminist

although we are



our real subject is eco poetry






























yes, connections

with other beings

in an attitude of kindness








I might counter that by saying

that it is precisely

these things including

your age, your gender and your approach

that make your work radical!


we do make the workshops outward facing

with an emphasis on ‘being with’

rather than the being


we’re doing it because it seems to be needed

so in that way, it’s sort of doing us













in our latest anthology of participants’ writing

the prefaces blend into their poems

like the whole book is one fabric





because we can be a bit mad

















coming from different knowledge bases

and disciplines has proved really fruitful







I’m a novelist and editor as well as poet

 and what comes with that is

long hours of being alone

of being rather pernickety and forensic

an interest in the literary form itself







whereas for me to break out

and allow all this free work has been so exciting


we’re also steeped in poetry

and we read a lot on the same political topics

but from very different sources




and The Ecopoetry Anthology

which is mostly American poems

but takes you right from Emily Dickinson

through to the early 2010s in ecopoetry




poets from the canon who actually resonate

like Gerard Manley Hopkins


we draw from a great range of poetry

always trying to keep abreast of the new ones








and I’ll say we can’t!

we can’t ask the participants to do that!


we’re extremely grateful to all our participants

and proud of their willingness to experiment

to collaborate and surrender

to some very unusual requests and approaches

creatively, we constrain as well as release each other

where I constrain kin’d

by writing a preface

she will loosen me

by suggesting mad things





I’ve collaborated with other people

 in the past but it’s always been an ‘alongside’

like working in response to a painter or musician

but in our first collaboration as kin’d & kin’d

all our ideas were merged





maybe playful surprises

can only really occur in partnership?
















like limbslendering or stranning

which came directly from the body’s action

of reaching




follow us into the wildness of language

and re-imagine our engagement with

the nonhuman










I would describe you as two people converging

like a cradle and holding all these other people


days and days of experimenting

and trying things out

and joy



for us, the workshop is

doing a poem







this poeming isn’t a performance


we might bring in in rolls of paper

or fabric, seeds, pondwater

or a miniature weighing machine

to ‘weigh’ words





but we don’t need to say that

to the participants

do we?


and we don’t need to say it to each other again









well it’s about

real attention

which is

a poem

in full presence

in the moment

that’s what it is













you know

we have never done a workshop twice

we’ve realised we can’t





oh yes, the risk has to be there!




your risk taking as a pair

actually made me feel safe

I allowed my senses to heighten

I wanted to pay attention

to the altered elements in the room

to the readings

the words

the other participants

trust and vulnerability

seem to be a central part of what you’re doing




care has been there

from the very inception of our collaboration








the phrase seemed

to sum up what we were doing




we want to stay with the trouble

and change everything carefully




not just what ecopoetry is being written

but what we’re doing with that ourselves

and because we involve participants

everything we do

has to involve caring





you know, long before ecopoet, I called myself


everything I’ve ever made

has got something to do with

the elements

people have found it a strange way to describe myself

but it makes sense to me

I’m elemental

I use it as a description of self


and I can only really think in metaphors

dance metaphor

physical metaphor

written metaphor





like tentacular feeling

object-body connectedness

five-sensical writing

poemish thinking









currently there is a propulsion

towards rapid change

like we’ve been talking about it for decades

and now suddenly we’ve got to do it all urgently



whereas we are doing change

but we’re doing it with care





perhaps we can say

collaboration and collective thinking

is in sharp relief

to the way we have become so fixated on the individual

and the rights and needs of the individual

often at the expense of the group















there are no introductions on our courses

we might have someone who’s

done a book tour

just published a book

or never written before

and nobody knows that

and so you’re completely freed from

the hierarchy and identity of a particular group



like those pyrosomes

that move and live as one creature

but are actually hundreds of individual zooids










we work hard at giving

each workshop a conceptual integrity

there’s a unified collectivity

of experiencing the same thing all together

a surrender of ownership



and we’ve come to realise

how much everyone is capable of by this method




well as a participant

I can understand that

I didn’t want to leave that creative space

it’s addictive being so cared for!











but to care and hope

in the presence of our human-induced eco disaster

bring us to the real

essence of connectedness





we want to get into the minutiae

of what is actually here



partly because our work is seasonal

but also because we can’t repeat workshops



our eco library is now BIG

and then there’s the archive






we often arrive organically at a theme

and quite quickly


the minute we’re together ideas fly around

then somehow

there it is



then at the end I type it all up

and send it back to kin’d

because that’s how it seems to work best







I know now that I’m better in collaborative forms

I mean, I’m not bad on my own

but I am a responder

inspired by what’s immediately around me

— creativity is very instant for me



I totally appreciate that

she goes more underground and I’m a butterfly



oh the other day

we were asked to respond to what someone was reading

with wool

and can I say this?

(kin’d nods)

when I looked over

kin’d had made three neat little equidistant lines

and I had a tangled ball










we know we’ll want them to write

a little on their own early on

 to get them going


do a group thing

and there’s always collaboration



so for example we were looking at The Abyss

so we cut out giant footsteps

and placed them all round the room

so people had to step on huge dark footsteps


and although it doesn’t sound like much

standing on a black cut-out footprint



can be an experience of the abyss








as you might expect

 sometimes everyone does just end up laughing




in fact that’s probably why they’re laughing













there was an alchemical thing that happened

when everyone whispered their

kennings into the seaweed basket

like a shushing wave pulling body to body



everyone just kind of got it

and the wave happened



even though there’s nothing left to chance

in terms of timings

what may happen

within those timings

we can’t control











each one adds more to what we know

and it matters to us that we continue to grow






yes but

only in the same place

at the same time




our methods are similarly site-specific

and always include physical elements

as well as writing








like during a residency in Suffolk

where the ancient hedges were being restored

we climbed inside the hedge

and exchanged ‘letters’ to each other

a record of what we were encountering


we walked

 beside miles of hedge

 as an act of mourning

for the loss of so many hedgerows





or cutting up the writings

dropping them on the floor

 to be reassembled

following exactly this chance arrangement







not being precious about your work is crucial













we’re in these sites

deliberately writing about them

from the viewpoint of

the ecology of whatever is there

from the time

and the place

and the weather







this work hasn’t been personal because

it has all been outward facing


and in a collective writing

you often don’t get a linearity in the finished poem

it might be more listy

or fragmentary


























we want to get into the minutiae

of what is here





I can’t not have some optimism




well, no, of course I don’t either!






having heart

rather than

having hope




I can imagine that you two would create

a working environment where people

would be able to feel that

—  a model

for engaging with the world that is heart-full












we’re situated in the grass!
























and kin’d always makes me go on

much longer than I can bear because

she has so much experience of durational work

like going on a darkness workshop for five days

 and you know, I’ve only just been born in these ways   so it’s all very challenging for me!




and for kin’d

things flow through her

which is why she seems able to keep on

whereas things stop in me

— I tend to go deep





















 I can see that you both really flourish

working in partnership

that it gives you energy






as a participant

in the workshops

it’s very clear that you’re one presentation

one lead

composed of very different functional parts

I felt the benefit of that productive tension









 we might think about it in terms of perfectionism

and whatever the opposite of perfectionist is



well whatever it is

 I’m not a perfectionist

which probably comes from being a dancer







































with bonding over the Donna Haraway philosophy

and her thinking on kin

which gave us our name


and now

the participants at our workshop at Knepp last year

are going to carry on working together

they call themselves The Flock

we have travelled to the British Library

from our various rural homes


kin’d & kin’d have brought along some Think Things


they open a small brown bag

and tip out

an underwater sea creature \ a caterpillar \ a slinky











I think they’re fresh ivy seed heads

from Hedera colchica probably

were they from a climber with huge floppy leaves

that look hand-painted?




the three of us have gathered

to talk about kin’d & kin’d’s collaborative practice

so in keeping with their core philosophy

of de-centering the human

the conversation presented here

will flow un-named



Our form is effortless.

U̶p̶s̶t̶r̶e̶a̶m̶ and downstream


our procession starts with skill and effort

and steps right down to the sea

and the money f̶l̶o̶w̶s̶ back.

Don’t break this tangled nest.

Be part of the pattern

so y̶o̶u̶ will be free. 1








well we’re not always experiential

just most of the time!


how the world could be

seems so deeply important right now

so important that we don’t just re-use

the old methods of thinking

but allow ourselves to imagine a new way —

a new way of being in the world




well our collaborative practice

is made from


of workshops

and we make books from the collective writing

done on our courses



we didn’t set out to be radical but

once you’ve loosened a few things


and anything is possible!











each workshop was about honouring

the source

of six raw materials used in the fabrics we wear



you may know that rubber

comes from trees

but did you know

polyester comes from plankton?








in looking back

to where raw materials come from

we got into many modes of extraction

and exploitation




U̶n̶silence her story

this harnessed history

she cried, redacted

her tongue, extracted

by rubber barons mine!-claiming 2


on our courses emotional discovery occurs

through communal

tactile experiences




as twelve participants were immersed

in a tightly held

dynamic experience



participants walked through that door and instantly

felt different

the whole room

had been dressed

and in ways we weren’t even fully aware of

until we came in on the second day




at one point we were led

one by one


to the lookout


to the cold depth of the sea





that moment also felt lonely

to be far away from the group

on the second day

we came back to the room

to find there was a wall of glass

with a full view of the beach and sea!

the theme was surfacing

and light poured in

startling and energising us

this time when you led us up to the lookout

it was via steps on the open outside of the tower

we could see for miles

see other people passing

both days we wrote collectively

and collaboratively

we shared our work in ways that

created new poems from our fragments

all of it was so cleverly orchestrated

and I learnt not only about how to run a meaningful workshop

but what it is to be held, educated and immersed

in thinking deeply about a subject

with others

through crafted words


there are many definitions of ecopoetry: for us,

it is a poetry that aspires to be conscious of what

we are doing when we describe, record, interact

with or take from what we call nature 3








we wrote a collective vertical threnody

one of your new poetic forms

and I understood then that

you’re thinking about the invention of form

new forms of poetry

new forms of thinking

new forms of being







write an elegy for the indigenous peoples of the

rubber forests. Lay a piece of tracing paper over it

on which is drawn a river with all its spreading

tributaries. At each joining of a stream to stream a

whirlpool is also drawn. Where the whirlpool is,

rub out the word beneath it, thus giving the

‘vanishing’ to the elegy 4


the idea of the vanishing elegy

was based on an energy

from the material we were working with



the poem lives there








like fabric-ation

where each fabric became a site-specificity



we were also wearing every type of fabric

for each class:

silk, rubber, cotton, eiderdown fluff on our heads



dressing up like that

I’ll do it with kin’d

whereas normally

I would want to look quite neat!


[kin’d & kin’d laugh often and freely. it’s the kind of collapsible

laughter that makes the conversation fall off itself temporarily. the

kind that requires a big gulp of air and a long sigh afterwards

before they can pick up the thread again. playfulness underpins all

their serious work because it is the kinetic glue that binds these

two minds and bodies into one Think Thing]


in our first course we didn’t use or make any

specific forms

it was all WILD on the page

in a literal sense


in response to place





we were looking at borders

we are looking at borders

at loosening boundaries



you see at Knepp

it’s the humans that are constrained

that have to stick to the paths




the thin green thistle

puts its head in the cow’s mouth

and waits 6






we didn’t choose kin’d & kin’d

because it was non-gendered

it arose from our reading

of Staying with the Trouble by Donna Haraway





kin’d & kin’d is about describing connections

with other beings

in an attitude of kindness



and a lot of the work we look at is

feminist and ecopoetic



plug of sun

earth synapse

book of bark

canopy of




           of the long


scent of




ridged as

           the bottom of

           a boat tossed

           on air

shadow I lean on

oxygen backpack

carbon moves

           between us

a looping breath 6


so kin’d & kin’d

its apostrophes

its double meaning

and no capital letters

is all about connections?




we don’t think of ourselves as avant-garde

so even if what we’re doing may be perceived as radical

that’s not our main intention


All done in a day and making room

for another thousand breaths 8











it’s ego-less as far as possible




you propose this way of working together

a with

as if your work thinks itself


this way the heart is inverted. This way is

good. This way the verb enters quickly

through the fresh crack, as thin as you

can imagine, but open nevertheless.

Once arrived, loneliness retreats. And best

of all - a sentence 9






we can never anticipate where the work will take us

we both enjoy all the experimentation

working in collaboration brings such pleasure

because we can be a bit mad

and we love reading the poems created

out of our workshops


  moth lecken


  whisper tongue



drenched again



spillwayed 10


you encourage each other

and others

to push at boundaries




I pushed up through russet earth,

back to light and life.

It is a spellborn thing,

this world. 11







and I’m pretty loose!

I come from an art form that is totally


I’m a dancer

and a choreographer

and I like risking everything







together though we often use

the somewhat impenetrable Arcadia Project

then there’s Black Nature which is crucial





kin’d has a fantastic collection

of what you might call nature poetry

that we can use



not just John Clare




and we probably push a bit further creatively

when we’re together

because kin’d’s more hesitant

so I’ll be like

we could just jump off there and pull on that plant

and ask them to sing













I’ve done so many different art-forms

play IS me

and I do love having the plan there

I appreciate her constraints






it’s the first time I found myself not knowing

what was mine and what was somebody else’s

I’d been pretty much in my bunker previous to that

I really felt the benefit and joy of that experience



can anyone really be playful on their own?


Open your ears

and brush up your eyes.

Search for the ciphers

that haze out the clears.

Plush will be the barks

that fret out to reach you

And wondrous be-crifting

is the vetiver prize. 12


we extend that play to the workshops

to encourage participants to let go and merge

use verbs instead of nouns

to invent words




run words together

ignore the rules of grammar, syntax, punctuation

experiment with form




and they do!


find a loose line of skin puncture

squish and land spurt and lunge

limp outer cover tearing magentering looseness

slip stick

how sumptuous an inner world that moist the

dry 13




we do so much planning




but it doesn’t come to fruition until

we actually go in and work with the participants



what excites us are pluriversal ways of investigating

through embodiment




and ‘making poemish’


although there’s a performative element





it not a workshop either

so calling it

doing a poem

seems okay






no never!


[laughter folds up our conversation again. grabs all its corners at once and wraps away the self-consciousness of being so sincere, of caring. laughter as healing-cupboard. laughter as washamewoman. laughter as her-her.]


so you’re poeming…








when I was in your workshop

poeming felt unique

like walking onto the page as a group

a showing not a telling of making

it is radically different to be led in that way


Our mouths were full of it

with its trill of birds.

Outpouring cascades of sonic urgency,

gulping dreams before they vanished.

This was just the beginning. 14





that makes sense of something I remember

which was feeling your genuine excitement and thrill

and the sense

of slight uncertainty that underpinned it all


what I experienced

was permission to also be vulnerable

to risk things












maybe it’s to do with our core idea

of Changing Everything Carefully



when we were thinking

about what to call our first ONCA season

and we saw that line

changing everything carefully

from ee cummings’ poem Spring is like a perhaps hand

we both knew straight away

that that was it



added to Donna Haraway’s idea

of staying with the trouble




we are trying to define

what ecopoetry is or could be







I suppose at the back of our minds was

we’re going to be doing something risky here

so we’d better do it carefully
















so we were asking

how do we change things?

there’s the radical protest, yes

but what about other methods?






Moss leans south to catch

the last breath of summer,

tree shadows dance at wall’s edge.

I stand among them,

a piece of darkstar

making spells

from scatterings at my feet. 15





which has a violence in it

as disturbing as the crisis itself



yet your work is urgent

and engages with the urgency of change needed

perhaps it models a different way of thinking

about the changes upon us








it is our deliberate intention to

privilege the non-human

the non-individual


We huddled - the child and the puppy on my lap -

beneath the generous scrawny elder.

The bug-eyed stickleback strumpet.

Just a few small incisors. 16


when you said earlier that you were able to trust us

and take risks within our risk taking

I think that’s very much because

none of you are there as your identified selves









yes I felt that and in that space

we were able to think as a single unit





[laughter of shared flight of fancy. of getting carried away. of merging]


but seriously

being in your workshops

does feel like a special kind of unity

and being carried along

by the current of your thinking






our participants as a waterfall




even very self-identified poets

are able to feel at home

once they can trust the process





what if all our creative interactions were like that?


Touching those leaves. Strange stronger as it is.

How come they made us leave. We put our

heads together, they wove our souls together,

though we didn’t know to notice…yet. 17


we aim to let things unfold

and we don’t know

where they’re going to end





we’re hoping

participants might be able to feel there is

potential for wonder

even within this crisis



so even when we go back to a location repeatedly

the themes will be different



we’re always expanding our learning

which is terribly important to us



so working together

and we have masses of books out on the table

we talk

we read to each other

we read poems outloud



then we unpack the why




and we’re both writing things down

adding this and taking away that





[collapsible laughter. the kind that makes the conversation fall off

itself momentarily. a memory of the seizing delight of surprises.

how their differences spark inventiveness]


we do naturally play to our strengths






and I can get all neat

sweep it all up!



like I’m vertical and she’s horizontal

I only really like neat lines!










well, there we were! that’s us!


[a woolly ball of laughter tugging at itself]


once we’ve gathered our ideas

into our theme

then we start working on

the kinds of exercises we can ask participants to do




to work in pairs or small groups



with something five-sensical early on

to loosen things up





I think they had words on them as well



when it’s accompanied

by listening to a poem being read



your footsteps blacken and blot

the darkness like paper. fungus

gills quiver like the inside

of an umbrella. you step

into the abyss 18




but their physical body

has nevertheless done something



action really does change everything


waterlogged in jeopardy

the minnows party 19


yes, in the workshop I attended

I remember that physical embodiment

as one of the things

that was very powerful —

all our senses were being used

or one was being taken away

and the unexpected arises





which we didn’t choreograph

it just happened organically in the moment



you can’t practice for that

you can only invite







the seed of a word, given the right conditions

can grow into a fabric that clothes us in truth 20


there is a very serious eco-aspect to our work

so while we laugh a lot

and bring fun to the creation and delivery

we do these courses

for a specific reason

and for a specific place




our skin creased like old maps to an oasis we could never reach on our own 21


and do you ever write just the two of you?




our own composite writing

has only developed since working together

on our ecopoetry courses




and then whatever is written in that outpouring

becomes the material for the poem


we have developed

experimental ways

of bringing our co-sited work together

into one voice











the hedge-writings

were then subjected to further

entanglement, taking lines

randomly and mixing them up





we were looking at our finished hedge poem

and can’t now work out




it really had become one voice




scaled-turleface edge-out forms

       heart-fern symmetries

                  tree’s lip 22


we’ve been writing at Rye Harbour most recently

and our first piece of composite collaborative work

was published in Coast to Coast to Coast

and the Kennings for 16 Hedges

which came out of the Suffolk residency

was published in the Magma Collaborations issue








perhaps the composite poems

can be described as ‘exposures’

to and of a particular place

at a particular time

surfacing more distinctly

through two perception-bodies



it doesn’t include the lyric I





and whether people can enjoy that kind of work

is a question we don’t know the answer to yet


drawn-out sighs

no time for breath in

cluck throat hatched

(can air be thrown?)


making water path

gather-noises   bird-tribes

shallow waders

tuft duck black

stay small


(who companions

who wriggles by

who crosses species)


heron stands

wing dips the shallows 23


one thing that defines our work is that we try

to come at the difficult eco-issues

including the apocalyptic

at a slant



we were very clear about that from the beginning

and our work with Joanna Macy led us to include hope

and optimism

in our workshops


 wouldn’t have thought of including that myself

I wouldn't have thought of including that myself

because I don’t feel that hopeful to be honest


Donna Haraway has quite a nice take on hope

she thinks hope

is too much about future thinking

so she likes to use the word






and that suits me

it’s about the present







Look up as the ash key unwinds,

sky trajectory,

birthing, here, now. 24


[we’re distracted by the Think Thing and play with it as if it’s a

caterpillar exploring the table while our thinking thinks]


like this object

you’re asking us

are there other ways of situating ourselves…



not for the first time in this conversation

I look in wonder at these two sparkling women

sharing their thought-provoking practice with me

and recognise a wild freedom

the feminine kind of freedom

a daring boldness of mind

that Mary Ruefle writes about like this


…there are no longer any persons on earth who

can stop you from being yourself, you have put

your parents in the earth, you have buried the

past… you are free…you would never want to be

a girl again for any reason at all, you have

discovered that being invisible is the biggest

secret on earth, the most wondrous gift anyone

could ever have given you.


kin’d asked me

on the way here today

to think about what risks I’m taking —

but I only do risk!

I mean, what risks am I not taking?








[confessional laughter. remembering the hedge laughter. joy of the

other’s risk laughter]








Put on your blindfold



Wander until you are lost


Vertiging and muschweaving as soillingo


Multum in parvo

In-forming-our-selves-in -Nature

Little pieces of everydayness

What looks like maxon

Is treacle mata

Mata matters

Rhythmic mascherations

Fungal filiments forming

Fermenting recomposition,

Mycorrhizal manuka. 26





yes and I probably couldn’t have said that until

a few years ago

because there’s always been the singular artist thing

but actually I don’t have it anymore

and I’m so glad it’s gone








fragile refeelings damped together 27


we don’t often disagree creatively

but we do sometimes come up against something

we can’t quite help the other to understand

but in the crucial areas there is

a miraculous kind of harmony








we tether each other to something expansive


  fastening drip-plash









     hatched 28


I’m so glad you two found each other!


I received your invitation

To tend my moss with kindness.

I’ve named my moss Cat’s Paw;

As it puts me in mind of playing -

My finger between the paw’s pads,

The claws just touching. Scary.


There’s a place by the water tub

Damp, alive with hollows.

Perfect. Perhaps.

But what about the other displaced mosses?

Can I tend them too? With more or less kindness?

I do, what I can do and tend with care.


Now take me out of the picture,

Am I needed, if needs be?

Or does the moss have a will of its own

With more hidden strengths than we know?

And the moss would not have been

Displaced by me in the first place. 29


it was the eco thing

that really brought our collaboration into being










oh legacy builders - look at you two!


the cafe is closing

we divide up the Think Thing

teasing it apart


Think Thing

An ecopoetic practice


kin’d & kin’d

in conversation with an’other




First published in 2020 by Elephant Press

Forge Lodge, Ashburnham

Battle, East Sussex TN33 9PH


All rights reserved

© 2020 Elephant Press

All rights reserved

Designed by Raphael Whittle

Elephant PRESS

A small press

Think Thing

An ecopoetic practice

that I’m deeply grateful for. There is a restorative pleasure in thinking ‘with’ non-human kin, of being invited to pay kind attention. Theirs is an ecopoetic practice that foregrounds the mutual.


I’m inclined to agree with John Shoptaw, writing in Poetry Magazine in Jan 2016, that “even if we can never specify its means or results, ecopoetry can help make environmentalism happen”. Humans write and read poetry and it is humans who make environmental choices. My belief is that poetry changes both the writer and its readers, communicating intimately and with an unsettling freshness that can elude apocalyptic activisms.


kin’d & kin’d is a seriously playful inventor and their environmental imagination is changing poetry. The kinetic glue that binds these two minds and bodies into one creation is risk. The risk to think thing, to step off our egos and be other than.


Alice Willitts


Ecopoetry courses (2018-20)


ONCA (2018, 2019), Vert Institute* (2018-19), WaterWeek** (2018) Knepp (2019 & May), Aldeburgh (2019), Connections While Solituding (Knepp by correspondence, 2020).


*Vert Institute:






Anthologies of participants’ poetry written during the classes, edited by kin’d & kin’d:


Poemish & Other Languages (2019); Poemish of the Wildland (2019); fabric-ation (2020) all from Elephant Press.



Readings and publications as kin’d & kin’d


Magma 78: Collaborations, feature interview and Kennings for 16 Hedges, (Magma, 2020).


Coast to Coast to Coast, River Adur, Knepp Wildland, and reading at the launch at Aldeburgh, 2019.


Finished Creatures 3, custodians, (2020).





Knepp Wildland (ongoing, informal) 2019-20

White House Farm, Great Glenham  November 2019, May 2020 online.


kin’d & kin’d is the creation of Kay Syrad and Clare Whistler



1.     Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

2.     fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

3.     kin’d & kin’d, Preface, Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

4.     fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

5.     Read more about Isabella Tree’s re-wilding at Knepp Wildland at and in Wilding (Picador, 2018)

6.     Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

7.     Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

8.     fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

9.     fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

10.   Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

11.   Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

12.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

13.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

14.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

15.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

16.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

17.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

18.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

19.  Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

20.   fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

21.   fabric-ation, Elephant Press, 2020

22.   ‘Kennings for 16 hedges’, kin’d & kin’d, Magma 78, 2020

23.   ‘River Adur, Knepp Wildland, 31 July 11.25am’, kin’d & kin’d, Coast to Coast to Coast, 2019

24.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press 2019

25.  Abridged extract from Mary Ruefle’s essay ‘Pause’, published in Granta Online, June 2015,

26.  Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press 2019

27.   Poemish and Other Languages, Elephant Press, 2019

28.   Poemish of the Wildland, Elephant Press, 2019

29.   Poemish and Other Languages, (Elephant press, 2019)