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A new collective sound poem by poet Linda France and sound artist Christo Wallers, is inviting spoken word contributions from the public. Dawn Chorus takes inspiration from birdsong at dawn, which symbolises that the long night has passed and a new day has begun. It was created as part of Linda France’s Writing the Climate residency at New Writing North and Newcastle University. The audio poem will premiere at Durham Book Festival in October 2021.

This collaborative audio project follows on from Murmuration, which was created by Linda France alongside artist Kate Sweeney and almost 500 participants in 2020. People are now invited to write and record a few lines based on simple starting prompts (‘Today…’, ‘I am…’, ‘We are…’ or ‘Here…’), which will be considered for inclusion in Dawn Chorus. 

Linda tells us more about the project, “Ornithologists believe that birds singing at dawn in springtime are staking a claim to their territory before they choose a mate.  They might simply be glad to have survived the long dark night.  The light is a signal to begin again so they can just be birds in the world. 

Imagine we have the chance to begin again, to start over – like the birds waking up to a new dawn, singing their hearts out.  What sort of world do you want to wake up in?  How would you greet it?  What would your first words be?  How would you sing yourself and the world awake?

What words might best express your wonder at a chance of life and your dedication to the unfolding day?  You’re not singing ‘about’ the future – you’re already there – here – making it happen – in the present tense.”

Lines can be received in any audio format until 2 August 2021. The project is open to people from anywhere in the world to send contributions in English or their native language. To find out more and contribute some lines visit the New Writing North website before 2nd August.

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