|In October 2015, two women in the towns of Buxton and Glossop, Pam Lake
and Jo Gregory, founded The Hummingbird Project, and began collecting
aid for refugees and sending it out to various camps and "hotspots”,
helped by an army of volunteers along the way. In their first year they
raised over £15,000 and now the organisation has its own combined shop
and drop-off point, in the High Peak town of Buxton.
The Staring Owl is a collection featuring the poetry of
Philippa Crundwell (Ocado prize-winner, 2013) Joel Duncan, Vicky Foster,
Matt Nicholson, J. D. Taylor, Deborah Tyler-Bennett (former MacDiarmid
poetry prize winner) and Gez Walsh, the man who single-handedly invented
Potty Poetry for children and then went on to become a children’s
novelist, a writer of young adult fiction, and a storyteller, stand-up
raconteur, and radio presenter. (The volume’s title is part of a
quotation from Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost and is already thetitle of the Press’s poetry blog page on Facebook).
Because the contributors have all agreed to the use of their material
for free in this collection, and waived all financial recompense, this
means we can donate to the Hummingbird Project the entirety of the
difference between what it costs to print the book and what we sell it
for. W H Auden once famously said that poetry "makes nothing happen”,
directly contradicting Shelley, who claimed that poets were "the
unacknowledged legislators of mankind”. As creative artists, people who
write poetry are perhaps not always best placed to deal with the
practicalities of rattling a collecting tin, or loading an aid lorry.
However, what they can do is raise money by writing entertaining and
thought-provoking poetry, so if you want to celebrate the power of
poetry, and make a difference, look no further!