Inspired by Nansen

Friday 8 January 2021

Life may be in lockdown once again, but we have just the thing to distract and delight you for the coming days! You may remember back in July when we announced a “call for creativity” with the Museums of the University of St Andrews, when we invited submissions of poems inspired by Nansen’s lithograph of a polar bear. There was a wonderful response to this by 28 poets, and we commissioned Juana Adcock to read and offer individual comment on each of the poems, which was provided by Juana as short videos and audio files.

Our partners at the university were so impressed by the poems submitted that they proposed collecting them in an e-anthology, and we have been working with them on that over the last few months. This has now been finalised and can be viewed online at this link:

Environmental and other concerns prompted by the Nansen Lithograph are addressed in the poems in diverse and often surprising ways by many of the poets, while others were prompted to recollect past experiences. The poets featured in the book are:

Sue Wallace-Shaddad
Steve Smart
Maryanne Hartness
Alice Tarbuck
Gordon Meade
A. C. Clarke
Angela Blacklock-Brown
Johan Sandberg McGuinne
Stephanie Green
William Cowan
Jon Miller
Suzanne Spencer
Camila Contreras
George Colkitto
Michael Greavy
Jane Lovell
Alan Gay
Alun Robert
Chris Brickley
Sarah Davies
Garry Stanton
Lynn Valentine
Jonathan Carr
Finola Scott
Kieron Baird
Aileen Ballantyne
J Sutherland
Thomas Liney

We hope this book will keep your heart warm over the winter months as the weather reminds us of the blizzards and challenges Nansen faced on his expeditions!