Friday 30 December 2005

Poetry cards

Just now, I'm making poetry cards to use as fliers or greetings cards or even bookmarks depending on the size. All made from recycled materials of course! Some examples: a haiku on the back of a Japanese phonecard, an extract from a poem about tea on part of an old tea box, a poem about the world map on the timezone map torn out of an old diary..... I'm coming up with several great ideas to recycle old materials whilst publicising my work!

Sunday 11 December 2005

Friday 2 December 2005

Recycled Toys

When I was at the International Playbus Congress in Turin, I attended a workshop at the Serendipity Ludoteca (, making toys from recycled materials.

I of course made a cardboard dancing rabbit, using used cardboard, used string and non-toxic paint. Any resemblance to our own rabbit Anya is entirely intentional!

The carrot is attached to strings at the back of the model so that when you pull the carrot the strings make the limbs move.

Sunday 27 November 2005

Altered Book 1

Now that I'm back from Italy, I'm starting to put together my first altered book. The book itself is mostly in Italian, which makes an ideal background for this scrapbook. I'm trying to keep as much as possible to the principles of recycling for this altered book, eg I'm not intending to print out digital photos to include. I'll customise our Plane Tickets Travel Wallet to hold my non-digital photos to complement the book. I've started the book with a double page spread on the Museum of Cinema in Turin, which is housed in the tallest building in Turin, the Mole Antonelliana. I cut out a drawing of the building from a publicity leaflet and pasted it onto a background that I had coloured to vaguely illustrate the hills around Turin. I've used pencil crayons as they seemed the best option for the glossy paper in this book. The first article on the page is about theatre and is followed by an article on Turin's football team, which offered some approriate words that I highlighted in the second part of this double spread, where I have pasted our tickets to the exhibition of science fiction films that was showing when we visited the museum. It's an excellent museum too...

Saturday 26 November 2005

Haiku for Winter

Sheep in the Fields. Snow.
Crows on the crest of the hill.
Aftermath of storm.

Monday 31 October 2005

In Italy

I'm in Italy for three weeks from tomorrow! I'll try to update this during the International Playbus Congress, which has loads of interesting workshops on environmental activities worth blogging (if my Italian is good enough to understand what's going on!) I'm less likely to update during my holiday! Ciao!

Sunday 30 October 2005

Malawi Drought

Malawi is a small landlocked country in southern Africa. Currently the country is facing drought and severe food shortages. For more information, including how you can help, visit Oxfam's Southern Africa pages:

I lived in Malawi from 2000 - 2002, teaching sciences in a Girls School in Malindi, on the shores of Lake Malawi. My poetry pamphlet 'Bougainvillea Dancing' was published in response to the last Malawian drought.

Friday 28 October 2005

Recycled Art at the International Playbus Congress

I’m running a workshop on environmental art at the International Playbus Congress in Turin on Saturday 5 November. This workshop will explore recycling and reuse in collage work and the wider potential of collage in community work.

Participants have been asked to bring some materials, which combined with materials provided by the organisers, can be used in collages. In this first half we'll make greetings cards, bookmarks, notepaper and envelopes. After the creative work, we'll look at each others work and discuss how we approached the collage.

In the second half, participants will work in small groups to explore how they could use collage in their work. For example, children can make collages to show what they want included in a new play area; collage can be used in consultation work with children; people who have learning difficulties or who are illiterate; collage can help discussion about difficult issues and of course can stimulate recycling!

For more about this workshop please visit:

Monday 17 October 2005

Harvest Moon

Never has the moon looked more yellow than in the last couple of days, particularly tonight. This haiku is perhaps a shorthand for the beginning of a longer poem:

Glowing yellow disk
rising from a bank of cloud
harvest moon teasing

Friday 14 October 2005

My First Altered Book!

I've become fascinated with altered books - old books used as a base for making art journals or other pieces of art. This book is a 1970s collection of articles from Italian newspapers and magazines, with notes in English. It is probably too out of date to be much use to anyone (I certainly prefer reading the current issue of Oggi!). So this will be my first altered book - a journal of my three weeks in Italy. I'll draw on the blank pages, paste in momentoes and photos and pick out found poetry from the text. Plus I'll leave in some of the cartoons, which are the best thing in here!

It may not work, but I'm sure it will be fun trying! I'll post my progress here!

Saturday 8 October 2005


Passionate colours
red autumn leaves flying
the wind carries them.

Wednesday 28 September 2005

Haiku for Autumn

autumn colours glow
red, yellow, gold; berries, leaves
plastic bags in trees

Sunday 18 September 2005


Last year my partner and I had a wonderful holiday in the Western Isles. We were shocked to hear of the proposal to develop industrial scale windfarms on the island of Lewis (381 wind turbines in total, including over 100 on the Eisgein Estate, each 125 m high, covering an area of 78.3km². Every turbine will have a foundation and hard standing area 45m x 65m cut out of the hillside. There will be 77km of roads wide enough for heavy plant, 22 quarries and 10 construction/batching compounds). The development will irretreviably damage the unspolt environment and the natural beauty of the area. The elctricity produced by this development wouldn't be used locally but exported to the mainland, meaning that pylons would need to be built across the island. I'm all in favour of small scale windfarms built and owned by local communities, who can then benefit from the electricity generated (there's a very good one on the island of Gigha). However the propsed development in Lewis is appalling! Mointeach gun Mhuileann (Moorland without Windmills) is a campaigning group opposing the proposed industrial windfarms and encouraging sustainable, renewable energy developments for the Western Isles. Visit: for details.

(This item also appears at my website: The photo is by my partner.)

Wednesday 14 September 2005

Five: five short films of the sea

Imagine Italo Calvino's Mr Palomar (see 'what am I reading?' below) is given a video camera and sent off to the beach. This is what he would come up with. Abbas Karostami shot this film on hand held video cameras in five long takes. In film 1 the sea plays with a piece of wood. In film 2 we are on a promenade with lots of people walking past - interesting here how no-one stops to look at the sea, most people barely give it a second glance (or even a first glance) and only two people go down onto the beach - are we really all that alienated from the powerful force and presence of the sea? Film 3 is shot down on the beach, where a group of dogs are sitting by the ocean. The colours of the changing light on the water are beautiful and it is fascinating and restful to follow each wave as it comes towards us and breaks on the shore. Film 4 is the comedy break with a constant procession of ducks waddling across the screen at ever increasing speeds. Film 5 is pure abstract art as we watch the moon's reflection in the water as it is broken by ripples and clouds and then a storm. So - this is beautiful even if it does feel more like high quality video art than cinema.

Saturday 10 September 2005

Favourite films about poetry

There aren't too many films out there dealing with poetry. One of my favourites though is Slam. This came out several years ago now, but was a vibrant film about the power of poetry to change people's lives. A performance poet working in prison helps one of the inmates to develop as a poet and as a person.

The other one that springs to mind is the film about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, that I can't remember the name of. It was not factually accurate but had a wonderful dreamlike quality and portrayed Taylor Coleridge as a real environmental visionary.

Any other excellent films about poetry?

Friday 9 September 2005

This is crafty green poet!

Crafty Green Poet looks at environmental issues through poetry, recycled crafts and reviews of arts related to the environment.

I am a widely published poet and this blog contains some of my poetry on environmental themes. This blog also contains reviews (mostly published for the first time here) on art exhibitions, books and films on environmental and related themes. I'm not a professional crafter - I'm concerned about the environment and creative by nature. How to combine the two - simple - create attractive gift items and greetings cards from 'waste' materials! I want to share my ideas and hopefully stimulate some discussion about creative re-use.

All poetry, photos and blog entries copyright to Juliet Wilson, unless otherwise stated.