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A Magazine for Sheffield

More Than Human: Two Sheffield poets share new work on ecology, nature, and our relation with non-human worlds

Ahead of a launch night at Haggler's Corner next Wednesday, Genevieve Carver and Suzannah Evans share two new poems with Now Then.

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Genevieve Carver.

The living world, and its complex relationality to the human world, is the inspiration behind a pair of pamphlets being launched next week by two Sheffield poets. Green by Suzannah Evans (released on Bad Betty Press) and Birds | Humans | Machines | Dolphins by long-time friend of Now Then Genevieve Carver (released on Guillemot Press) both explore aspects of nature ranging from its destruction at the hand of man to its resilience, while taking in seabirds in Orkney and a spirit that's half-human, half-rage.

Both writers have been kind enough to share a poem from their new collections ahead of a launch party at Corner Jammers cafe, Haggler's Corner, next Wednesday. Entry is free, and there'll be food and drink available.

Laboratory Sample : Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

A screenshot of a poem in a PDF. The text is as follows:

the dead bird in the freezer
is a miniature albatross-omen
labelled up in ziplock bags
deconstructed birdself now existing as
tubes of blood
paper cups of stomach oil
pinches of belly feathers
turned crisp as snowflakes
what do the feathers tell?
a tale in the key of corticosterone
stress that burst from the skin
heartbreak splintering downy barbs
do they remember waltzing
with the wind
purling, foretelling of death?
past lives rise from the sigh
sucked from a hollow bone
{ skippers of whaling ships,
drowned souls wheeling the aftersky }
microbiomes sing like river sprites
inside pinprick drops of serum
long after bird-whole is
split like a beanbag
spilling out { mucus : tissue :
poorly digested fish :
macroplastic in the tracts :
nanoplastic between cells }
when does foreign object become assimilated?
where does birdself end
and degraded ketchup sachet begin?
ask the sea god Sedna
ask the rectal swab

Genevieve Carver


Suzannah Evans.

Category is: Extinct Species of the World

Green drips with emerald scarabs
wasp-waist cinched for the gods
in black feathers lip-synchs

to the mysterious starling
a charcoal-smoke cabaret fantasy
before he rugs himself

like his printed sisters: quagga,
thylacine, Sumatran tiger
stripes strobing as they claw the air.

He runs his hands
down a velvet evening gown
as De Wintons golden mole

winks and guns us in the fashion camo
of the Yunnan lake newt. The moa
wears heels so high they’re stilts

and the giant vampire bat
swirls in a silk black cloak
a playful blood capsule

burst and streaking his chin.
The camera swoops to frame tears
that draw tracks

down silver fishskin cheeks.
What would you say to her today?
Steller’s Sea Cow
he answers

The world is a sadder place
without you; you were beautiful
and fierce, chunky yet funky

an ocean-going inspiration.
The final number is dedicated
to the endangered

with every chorus a gown peels back
and reveals a new shade of moth
or octopus. Green reaches out

towards us, eyes whiskered,
legs writhe in snakeskin.
The beat kicks, the lights

flash and stop. He slides a foot
in time. Amen. Death drop.

Suzannah Evans

Learn more

Green by Suzannah Evans and Birds | Humans | Machines | Dolphins by Genevieve Carver are out now.

Both pamphlets are being launched with a free show 'More Than Human' at Corner Jammers, Haggler's Corner, on Wednesday 17 July. Entry is free, and there'll be food and drink available.

Corner Jammers is on the ground floor of Haggler's Corner, has level access from the street, and a disabled toilet.

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