Stacey Astill, James Franklin and Jo Overty on mapping the Isle of Man through poetry.
The Isle of Man is the only entire nation in the world to have UNESCO Biosphere status. It is a place of varied landscapes, interesting wildlife and scenery powerful enough to inspire any artistic soul.
Manx poet Stacey Astill wanted to create a space to discover new aspects of the island through its poetry, so she partnered with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man and Culture Vannin to create the Poetry Map of the Isle of Man.
It contains around 200 poems which are pinned to coordinates across the 33-mile-long island. Each location was suggested by members of the public who wanted to celebrate and highlight their favourite spots, from the sand dunes of the north to the rocky cliffs of the south.
The poems were written between May and July, and they cover subjects such as nature, wildlife, biodiversity, habitats and landscapes. In September one winner and three runner up poets will be announced, and their poems will be published by local newspapers and read aloud on Manx Radio.
One of the roles of a UNESCO Biosphere is to connect people with nature. This project has allowed poets to express how they feel about the Isle of Man’s land and seascapes, wildlife and habitats, while also recognising the power of poetry and its interplay with the natural world.
Visit the Poetry Map to find out more.
Photograph: David Tiernan, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0