Time and Date: 5:30pm, 11 November 2021
Location: Byre Theatre
Tickets available online


Art has the ability to help us reconsider the world around us. It offers us opportunities to reflect upon subjects as presented through the eyes of the artist and to conceptualise them in new ways. This potential separates artistic expression from other forms of mainstream dialogue. The Centre for Energy Ethics is committed to including artists in our conversations about energy, sustainability and climate change. Having played host to a series of creative initiatives already – the Art of Energy, Africa 2050, The Art of Energy Call for Composers – we are proud to be adding our first in-person creative event: Poetry and Power at the Byre theatre.

To mark COP26 in Glasgow, Poetry and Power brings together three award-winning poets – Rebecca Sharp, John Bolland and Garry MacKenzie – to reflect on the intersection of Climate Change and Poetry. How can poetry help us understand the existential challenge of balancing growing energy demand with curbing anthropogenic climate change? And how can it help us envision possible energy futures?

Rebecca Sharp’s recent collection Rough Currency (Tapsalteerie) explores our entanglements with fossil fuels and the oil industry, receiving an RSL Literature Matters Award (Royal Society of Literature), and 2nd prize in the CEE’s inaugural Art of Energy Awards earlier this year.  

John Bolland’s forthcoming Pibroch is a poetry collection and spoken word performance exploring parallels between the Climate Emergency and the Piper Alpha disaster. A former oil worker and runner up for the RSL’s V.S. Pritchard Prize, John’s first collection, Fallen Stock (Red Squirrel Press), was launched at StAnza in 2019.   

Garry MacKenzie’s book-length poem Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain (The Irish Pages Press) explores Scotland’s Celtic heritage and the modern Anthropocene world. His work has received a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award, a Robert McLellan Poetry Award and first prize at the Wigtown Poetry Competition. 

Hosted at the Byre Theatre, Poetry and Power will be the Centre’s first public in-person event since launching in February 2021, and will advance the Centre’s aim of fostering cross-disciplinary conversations and bringing the arts to bear on urgent energy and climate issues. 

Join us for a reception beginning at 5:30pm with readings to follow.  Register to attend here: https://byretheatre.com/shows/poetry-and-power/.  

For questions and comments please contact the Centre for Energy Ethics or the lead organizer Dr Sean Field (sf95@st-andrews.ac.uk).