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Why Maligned Species?

Why are we running this project?

malignedspeciesOur editor, Nadia Kingsley noticed that, when she was editing our very first book Shropshire Butterflies – a poetic and artistic guide to the butterflies of Shropshire that there is an accepted general love for butterflies, and a general dislike for moths – some of which are far more beautiful than butterflies –they both belong to the Lepidoptera family, and anyway from a scientific standpoint there really is no distinct agreed definition about what is a butterfly and what is a moth. She feels this is unfair, and it made her think a bit more. Thoughts like:

Without spiders we would be over-run by flies

Without flies we would be knee-high in animal excrement

Without excrement…

Everything is interlinked and necessary

Fear tends to be based on lack of knowledge

And she is also plagued by questions like:

Does a spider have a heart?

Spiders, Frogs, Stinging Nettles and Grey SquirrelsWhy do plants like Stinging Nettles now have such a bad name when in the past they were such a vital tonic in early spring?

Why do we blame the grey squirrels for so much – when it was Man who introduced them to this country in the first place?

Poetry has a wonderful way of

  • observing something very closely
  • asking child-like questions, that adults seem to forget to ask
  • phrasing something in a way that makes people think that’s exactly what I think but I would never have known how to phrase it, or in a way that people have never even thought about

And like science, at its best, poetry is exacting, clear, and illuminating

Here at Fair Acre Press we love science

We love reading factual books.

But factual books are just that – and poetry is something very different

So, with this project we hope to inspire future and current poets to write about maligned species

– the bugs, frogs, plants and mammals which are feared, despised, hated even – by a large number of people in this country.

We do understand how it can feel to be scared of a common creature or plant in the UK.
It doesn’t do the individual much good though does it?
So we also hope that this project will help those individuals –  in a small way – to see these species in a different light

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