In early 2015, we were thrilled to announce an inspiring new venture for World Animal Day by welcoming Susan Richardson as our poet-in-residence.  Image right: Susan with Hooper

Susan is a Wales-based poet, performer and educator who specialises in wildlife conservation and other environmental issues. When she was six years old, she was asked the usual question about what she’d like to be when she grew up. In a flash, she replied ‘I want to travel round the world and write about animals.’ Her passion for animals and the wider natural world has been the driving force in her writing ever since, from her Arctic-themed first collection of poetry, Creatures of the Intertidal Zone (2007) to her third collection, skindancing, which is due to be published by Cinnamon Press this year. Susan is honoured to be a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers.

She is also an ardent believer in the potential of poetry to make a difference, to inspire shifts in perception and create new patterns of thought and experience. As an educator, she has more than sixteen years’ experience of coaxing people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with wildlife conservation issues through poetry in an imaginative and dynamic way. She recently enjoyed a year-long poetry residency with Friends of the Earth Cymru’s Bee Cause campaign, and is currently poet-in-residence with the Marine Conservation Society, writing poems, and running workshops, for their Thirty Threatened Species appeal.

Susan has performed her work at literary, environmental and science festivals throughout the UK, for organisations such asWWF and the Centre for Human Animal Studies, on BBC 2 and at Universities both nationally and internationally. She also fulfilled a four-year stint as one of the resident poets on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, and aims, with every performance, to spread the wildlife conservation message as far and wide as possible.

Image above right: enjoying a walk with a llama.  Two images below: seal watching.

Now, as poet-in-residence for World Animal Day, Susan will be helping to generate awareness of, and support for, this special global initiative. She will be commissioned to write two animal-themed poems per year, one of which will be unveiled, circulated and performed onWorld Animal Day itself. Other exciting aspects of the residency will be revealed in the months ahead.

For more information about Susan’s work, please visit her website