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Shropshire Butterflies contains 75 poems and 69 images, from sixty six contributors including poems by Gillian Clarke, Roger Garfitt and Mario Petrucci. There are also prose pieces on habitats, and butterflies in Shropshire by butterfly experts and authors such as Katherine Swift, Eleanor Cooke, Paul Evans, Adrian Riley and Matthew Oates.
Editor Nadia Kingsley writes:
“When I had the idea for this book, in November 2009, I knew almost nothing about butterflies that they were very pretty, and I always felt happy when I caught sight of one. Fifteen months on and I have seen almost all of the butterflies in Shropshire, can identify them, some just by their flight pattern, have visited some extraordinary places in Shropshire; have learnt so much about wildflowers, conservation, and their habitats, and have got in touch with the child within, who is not embarrassed to be seen madly racing, twisting and turning, after a small colourful flying insect in the hope of getting a better look.
This book will take you through a year of butterflying in Shropshire. Starting in early spring with the species that have over-wintered as butterflies like the Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, and Comma butterflies we meet each of the species as they emerge. Many people reveal their personal encounters, in poetry and in images. You’ll find acrylic and watercolour paintings, prints, glass, computer-manipulated images and also sculpture. There are many types of poems, but what they all have in common is an expression of how unique each of the thirty nine Shropshire butterfly species are, and how it can be when we connect with them. The caterpillars (larvae) and eggs (ova) are not forgotten, for even when we can’t see any butterflies they are always there, in one form or another – and long may it continue to be so. The book ends in winter, but with the thought of the next Spring and the next year’s butterflies in the minds of us all. I understand the language of science. But for me, and many others, nothing speaks the truth more clearly than poetry and art.
I had so many wonderful moments with butterflies last summer. What amazes me is that they were there all the time. I just hadn’t looked before.”
The Poets in Shropshire Butterflies are:
Jean Atkin, Rita Carter, Keith Chandler, Gillian Clarke, Jane Dards, Pat Farrington, Simon Fletcher, Paul Francis, Roger Garfitt, Mavis Gulliver, Marilyn Gunn, Peter Holliday, Nadia Kingsley, Chris Kinsey, Alwyn Marriage, Chris Morgan, Pauline Morgan, Patricia Newland, Miriam Obrey, Nick Pearson, Mario Petrucci, Emma Purshouse, Jane Seabourne, Ruth Stacey, Jeremy Stretton, Bill Thomas, Janet Vernon, Tom Wentworth, Charles Worth
The Visual Artists in Shropshire Butterflies are:
Rhys Bevan Jones, Ann Bridges, Paul Brooks, Frances Carlile, Tim Clarke, Giancarlo Facchinetti, Lynette Forrester, Katy Goutefangea, Barbara Gunter-Jones, Julie Horner, Sheilagh Jevons, Ellen McBride, Paola Minekov, Lis Molzahn, Adrian Moule, Linda Nevill, Wendy Newhofer, Robert Offord, Hilary Portman, Kim Stephens, Carl Thompson, Debs Thurkettle, Ben Waddams, Jamila Walker, Neil Webb, Lynn Wheeler, Christine Wilcox-Baker, Kiran Williams
The Ecologists in Shropshire Butterflies are:
Sarah Bierley, Peter Boardman, Eleanor Cooke, Paul Evans, Jenny Joy, Adrian Miles, Matthew Oates, Adrian M Riley, Katherine Swift
"This book is an absolute feast of butterfly imagery, with every imaginable visual celebration, intermingled with poetry and prose to make a wonderful tribute to the butterflies of Shropshire"
– Richard Lewington (illustrator of many butterfly and insect books)
"This is one of the most delightful ‘green’ poetry projects I have heard of in recent years."
– Carol Ann Duffy (England’s Poet Laureate)
"The beauty, sense of freedom and rarity of many species of butterflies has certainly mesmerised me ever since I was able to pronounce the word ‘buddleia’! If it is a butterfly field-guide you are after then look elsewhere, as this charming little book aims to help us rediscover our passion for butterflies in a totally novel, yet utterly charming way [...] by letting them fly inside our minds!"
– Mike Dilger (Naturalist, TV presenter)