World Environment Day

In recognition of today – 5th June 2021 and World Environment Day – we’ve put together a few eco-themed titles for you.


Arboreal: A Collection of Words from the…Adrian Cooper (ed). 2016. Arboreal: A Collection of New Woodland Writing.

The pieces in this anthology are an ode to the trees and forests of the British Isles and what these woodlands mean to us in the twenty-first century. It follows on from public outcry over government plans to sell off state-owned forests in 2010. The anthology encompasses a range of genres written by a variety of contributors, including foresters and arborists, naturalists and nature writers, as well as eminent poets such as Jackie Kay, Zaffar Kunial and Simon Armitage.


Camille T. Dungy. 2011. Smith Blue.

Alongside her exploration of themes of love and loss, Dungy addresses humanity’s role in the destruction of the natural world, portraying humans by turns as both antagonistic agents of climate change and victims of natural disasters ourselves. The meaning of the title is revealed in the poem ‘The Blue’, a moving retelling of Rudi Mattoni and Claude Smith’s discovery of a new species of butterfly along the Californian coast. Like many butterfly species, the Smith’s blue butterfly is endangered by habitat loss.


Hainish novels & stories. Volume 1 by Ursula…Ursula le Guin. 2017. Hainish Novels & Stories, Volume Two

This Library of America edition contains le Guin’s The Word for World is Forest, first published in 1972 and winner of the 1973 Hugo Award for best novella. Le Guin wrote the novella partly as a reaction to the Vietnam War. The story follows the fate of the planet Athshe when invaders from a ruined future Earth arrive to strip Athshe of its resources, destroying its bountiful forests and enslaving its people.


I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from…Mark Martin (ed). 2011. I’m With the Bears: Short Stories From a Damaged Planet.

In his introduction to this collection, published in 2011, Bill McKibben stated, ‘Consider the recent past – consider a single year, 2010. It’s the warmest year on record (though not, of course, for long)’. He was right. In January of this year, NASA declared 2020 the hottest year ever recorded, tying with previous record-breaker 2016. The aim of these ten short stories, whose writers include award-winning names such Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi and David Mitchell, is to illuminate and make tangible the threat and consequences of climate change.

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