World Climate Poetry Summit

Tsead Bruinja

Tsead Bruinja © Hilde Brandsma

Tsead Bruinja (b. 1974 in Rinsumageest, Netherlands) is a poet writing in Dutch and West Frisian and lives in Amsterdam. His debut collection in 2000 was De wizers yn it read, written in Frisian. His first volume of poems in Dutch, Dat het zo hoorde, was published in 2003. Bruinja edits anthologies, writes criticism and organises literary events such as the Dichters open air festival in de Prinsentuin (poets in the prince’s garden). He often collaborates with artists in other media, such as the musician Jaap van Keulen and the Flamenco dancer Tanja van Susteren. Bruinja also works as a lecturer for Poetry in the Creative Writing Programme of ArtEZ, Arnhem. His book Dat het zo hoorde (2003) was nominated for the Jo Peters Poëzieprijs; at the end of 2008 he was nominated as Poet of the Vaderland 2009–2013, a Dutch title inspired by that of Poet Laureate. Bruinja came second. In his current poem cycle Binnenwereld buitenwijk natuurlijke omstandigheden he addresses his son and raises questions about nature, the environment and the Anthropocene.

Publications (Selection):

Gegrommel fan satyn (Gegrommel van satijn), Bornmeer 2003
Kutgedichten (with Daniël Dee), Passage 2004
De geboorte van het zwarte paard (Dutch and Frisian), Cossee 2008
Overwoekerd, Cossee 2010
Stofsûgersjongers / Stofzuigerzangers (with Femke IJlstra), Afûk 2013
Binnenwereld buitenwijk natuurlijke omstandigheden,Cossee 2015

Imtiaz Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker © Ayesha Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker (b. 1954 in Lahore, Pakistan) is a Pakistani-Scottish poet, writer and artist. She lives in London and Mumbai, writes in English, has published six collections of poems, works among other things as a documentary maker in India and has shown her drawings in solo exhibitions in India, London, New York and Hong Kong. In her poetry she takes on topics such as homeland, freedom and travel in an imaginative and questioning way and points to cultural and geographical conflicts within society and gender politics, which has brought her the 2014 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the Cholmondeley Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Her poems are on the UK GCSE and A-Level English curriculum. Each year she reads to more than 25,000 students at Poetry Live! events. Her documentaries, most of which she produces for and with NGOs, look at issues of women’s and children’s protection, education and health in India.


Purdah and other poems, Bloodaxe Books 1988
Postcards from god, Bloodaxe Books 1997
I speak for the devil, Bloodaxe Books 2001
The terrorist at my table, Bloodaxe Books 2006
Leaving Fingerprints, Bloodaxe Books 2009
Over the Moon, Bloodaxe Books 2014

Cholmondeley Prize by the Society of Authors 2011
Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature 2011
Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2014 

Kendel Hippolyte

Kendel Hippolyte

Kendel Hippolyte (b. 1952 in Castries, the capital of St. Lucia) studied at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He worked as a teacher at St. Mary’s College in Vigie, Castries and at Sir Arthur Lewis College in Mourne. He is an active dramaturge and director with the Lighthouse Theatre Company, which he co-founded, and for which he has written eight plays. His best-known play, Drum Maker, uses idiomatic Caribbean language and explores the political context of the indigenous culture. In his poetry he works in traditional forms such as the sonnet or the villanelle as well as free verse and in forms influenced by rap and reggae.
He has published five volumes of verse and several collections marked by a free, modernist style.
His current focus is on using his skills as a writer and dramatist to raise public awareness and contribute to active solutions to critical social and political topics such as climate change.

Publications (Selection):
Birthright, Peepal Tree Press 1997
Night Vision, TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press 2005
Fault Lines, Peepal Tree Press 2012

St. Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold) 2000
Poetry Category of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for the Collection Fault Line

Jessie Kleemann

Jessie Kleemann © Petrine Kleemann

Jessie Kleemann (born in Upernavik, Greenland in 1959) is a poet, dancer and video and performance artist. She lives and works in Copenhagen. In her poems, the first of which appeared in her book Taallat in 1997, traditional Eskimo motifs meet the globalised present. Mystical natural imagery collides with real social problems, sea mothers with Brigitte Bardot, dog sleds with 4-wheel drive off-road vehicles. In this way, Kleemann’s poetry, written in Greenlandic and Danish, brings the image world of the Eskimos up to date for the 21st Century. It searches for heritage and identity in the broken linguistic material of the post-modern, creating texts in which the beautiful and the ugly do not exclude each other. The Inuit language merges natural sounds with the sounds of the language and this connection between nature and poetry is especially prominent in her latest poems.
After training as a lithographic artist, Jessie Kleemann studied at the Tuukkaq Theatre in Fjaltring, Jutland, from 1978 to 1979, a from 1984 to 1991 she was Director of the art school in Nuuk. She established a poetry festival in Greenland, has written film scripts and has had her own TV show. She has developed a ‘body art’ based on traditional masks and rituals for her provocative performances, using her own body as a living canvas. Her poems, which can be heard on, have been used by the artist Swoon (Marc Neys) as the basis of a video-poem journey taking viewers to the Nordic regions of Greenland.

Publications (Selection):

Kinaasunga (Who this who am I). Performance/Video, 1988‑1989
Spirit Hosts Join the Elements. Performance/Video, 1991‑1993
Taallat. Digte. Poems, Fisker & Shou 1997
Poem for video. Performance/Video, 2001‑2003


Outspoken © Tim Mwaura

Hip hop artist Tongai Leslie Makawa (b. 1983 in Zimbabwe) started writing at age eleven. He is one of Zimbabwe’s best-known spoken word artists and activists. He is a co-founder of the Magamba network, in which both artists and urban art are promoted, and where he also gives educational and spoken word workshops for young people. In 2012 he released two debut albums at the same time, Uncode and overrated and God before anything.
His music and poems are politically motivated and mainly inspired by the education system. He raises questions about where society is going and how much humanity still has to deal with discrimination and repression. Climate protection is another topic in his workshops.