This may be an exaggeration. However, it’s a good one. This Thursday, to celebrate National Poetry Day and World Animal Day, Candlestick Press will be launching their Twenty-One Poems About Wonky Animals pamphlet in a superb online event.
An exceptional line up of award-winning poets including Jane Burn, Clare Shaw, Caleb Parkin, Linda France and Kathryn Bevis will be reading their wonky animal poems in a special online event.
Candlestick Press produces high-quality ‘instead of a card’ poetry pamphlets, which have become a mainstream item by the counters of bookshops in the UK. The pamphlets combine high-end artwork with the poetry of poets who, though well-established and admired within the field of poetry, are relatively unknown to the general public.
What are wonky animals?
All the poems were judged winners in a blind competition, (where work is submitted anonymously and selected solely on its merits), and the wonky animal concept is based on the premise that, great or small, every ‘wonky animal’ has something to teach us about our own human frailties.
As Di Slaney, one of the organisers and herself a poet of some repute, explains:
“We use the affectionate word ‘wonky’ when things aren’t quite right but what’s wrong seems rather endearing.
“These poems are about creatures who are slightly awry. Some are beloved pets who are vulnerable and in need of human care. Others are just slightly odd in themselves – a hornet, a frog, a mole. They may be more difficult to love, but each is celebrated here in its own particular splendour.”
For instance, in ‘Snailology’ by Nora Nadjarian,
“The heart of a snail can be anywhere in her body, beating in secret. Such a sweet heart, never complains, but explains the world in little steps.”
Reading the human condition
In one sense, the collection aptly illustrates a kind of anthropomorphism in reverse which sheds light on our own condition. As we face life in a world where both our natural and psychological environment is threatened, this collection feels like a welcome walk in the woods after a draining day hunched anxiously over a screen.