Matt Howard’s chosen books: ‘a mix of older and some very new to reflect what has been in my head and thinking of late’.
Collected Poems by Ted Hughes
Hughes is the most essential poet for me, the one that got me writing and ultimately led me to working for nature conservation. The best of Hughes will surely be read as long as the language survives.
Selected Poems by Kathleen Jamie
I've chosen the poems but urge you to read the glittering essay collections too. Kathleen is able to render lyric into observation and encounter via forms that are at once accessible yet so nuanced and sophisticated with their thinking and feeling with and towards the more-than-human world.
A Sand County Almanac: and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold
A mix of ecology and lyric essay combine into vital modes of thinking about our place within nature, nature as culture and culture as nature.
Birds and People by Mark Cocker
A stunning, huge book both as an object but, most beautifully, for its ambition and contents. It maps all of our engagements with birds across the world, drawing on history, literature, art, food, folklore, politics as well as the environment. This is a book for life in every sense.
The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis by Amitav Ghosh A beautifully written up to the moment polemic that argues persuasively that climate change is rooted in Western colonialism. I've only recently read it and already know it to be a book I will return to again and again. It is a pointed critique of our contemporary moment, of how we have arrived to this point with all our fault lines so exposed with the pandemic.