eco-poetics: courses and poetry

As kin’d & kin’d Kay Syrad and Clare Whistler write collaboratively and run a series of eco-poetics courses entitled Changing Everything Carefully. See this website’s ‘courses and workshops’ and also ‘poetry’ for further details.

Kay and Clare were interviewed recently by poet and editor Alice Willitts for a special MAGMA Poetry issue on collaboration; the shorter version of the interview appears in the magazine, and a fuller transcript has been made into a small book Think Thing available from Elephant Press

art-text works

Kay and Clare have also exhibited collaborative text works, for the Cambridge-based Art Language Location 2013 events and for the Telling Stories/Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope exhibition 2014. The two have also worked together on Clare’s 10-year project, Gifts; The Visitor (Redoubt Museum, Eastbourne 2012); and on Charlotte Still and Clare’s award-winning Water Week programmes.

Image: Chris Drury, from Exchange (Little Toller, 2015)

Kay is married to land artist Chris Drury and they have a creative partnership which includes Vert Institute for art events and writing and a small imprint, East Port Editions. Between 2013-14, Kay worked with Chris on a two-year rural residency in Dorset for the climate change arts organisation, Cape Farewell. The project, which involved working closely with organic dairy farmers and a sheep farmer, resulted in a touring exhibition and a large-scale artist’s book, ‘Exchange’, from which a paperback version was created, Exchange (Little Toller, 2015). Buy here: Little Toller

Since 2011, Kay has worked with Sensory Sites (formerly Art in Touch), an international group of artists who explore multi-sensory experience in across different media, writing in response to exhibitions (Just Under the Surface at Crypt Gallery, Euston, 2016, and Moving Water at the October Gallery, London 2016) and for Stehlíková’s film Across the Unseen Sea. Kay has also co-taught with Stehlíková at the Royal College of Art.

In 2013-14, Kay was the commissioned writer on a multi-media ACE-funded project and touring exhibition, LAST STATION, led by Mary Hooper and Elise Liversedge, drawing attention to the light vessels that used to be stationed around our coasts, co-producing a limited edition artist’s book, work of the lightshipmen: 1000 tasks. The book comprised 1000 lines detailing the exacting work and level of endurance required of the men who lived and worked out to sea for weeks at a time. An edition of work of the lightshipmen: 1000 tasks has been purchased by the National Maritime Museum, London, for their permanent collection: Royal Museums Greenwich

In 2018, all 1000 lines were recorded for ‘Last Station: Located’, an exhibition at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.


Kay was also commissioned by Last Station to write the libretto for a choral work, The Light Vessel, in collaboration with the composer and saxophonist Trevor Watts. The choral work was premiered in Harwich in 2013, with further performances at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill in 2015 and in London with the Thames Chamber Choir in 2017.