eXXpedition crew are very pleased to welcome Karen McCarthy Woolf into our land-based crew in charge of our media and outreach while we sail.
Karen is a poet and AHRC-funded PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London whose research explores how collaborative and hybrid art forms can be used to write about nature and climate change. Karen has a particular interest in how being on, in or near water affects our emotions. In many ways this has been a life-long preoccupation, although it intensified while she was writing her poetry collection An Aviary of Small Birds, a book of elegies that commemorate a baby son who died during childbirth in 2009. In the aftermath Karen found she was attracted to and comforted by water: she wanted to swim in it, travel on it, write about it (she took up a residency on the River Thames), or simply be near it. The psychological territory of loss, this time on a universal rather than a personal scale, is something her new work expands on by considering the impact of climate change and intense commodification on water-based communities.