Trees have rooted into our consciousness for as long as we have told stories. Their language holds the ground that is our past while stretching our minds up to the sky and future potential. Trees are our lungs; the words in our mouths; they are our confidants and friends.
If the trees speak in myriad ways – is it us who have forgotten how to listen? After everything they’ve seen what would the trees tell us?
In association with Bute Park and the Tree Charter, award-winning poet and Young People’s Laureate Wales, Sophie McKeand (Rebel Sun), will be on site at Bute Park over the weekend of 28/29 October gathering the tree stories of people young and old through a number of creative workshops and initiatives such as mindful tree listening, children’s tree story sheets, and an in situ typewriter and postbox for anonymous stories. People are also encouraged to drop by to share any stories or poems they have created about trees.
Supported by artist and designer Andy Garside, Sophie will then compile a poetry anthology of people’s work, in addition to a commissioned poem capturing the significance of the trees within Bute Park and inspired by the words, people and trees she encounters throughout the project.
The Stories They Would Tell will be at Bute Park on Saturday 28 October outside the Education Centre and Sunday 29 October near the Water Taxi stop (10am – 3pm) – just look for the Bute Park gazebo.
The mindful tree listening workshop spaces are limited to eight participants and will run at 10.30am and 1.30pm each day. Advance booking is advised by emailing Sophie on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise please feel free to drop by anytime to chat and share your thoughts.
A showcase event on November 25 (10.30am - 2.30pm) will include a family tree walk, mulled drinks and roasted chestnuts, the unveiling of a Tree Charter pole with Sophie’s commissioned poem as well as readings from the tree anthology. Both the longer poem and the anthology will be on display at the Cardiff Story Exhibition from 2 December until 25 February.
Sophie McKeand is an award-winning poet, TEDx speaker and the current Young People’s Laureate Wales. She appears regularly on BBC Radio Wales and has performed extensively across the UK (this year includes: Hay Festival, Gwyl Arall, Festival No6) as well as in Ireland, and India (Kolkata Literature Festival). Much of her poetry focuses on connecting with the landscape of Wales and seeking out ways in which to better hear her. The new collection Rebel Sun is published by Parthian Books.