Liv Torc – Hot Poet

Liv Torc is a poet, performer, participation expert, artist and project weaver. In 2019 Liv’s climate change in the face of motherhood poem The Human Emergency went viral across the world, she performed at Glastonbury Festival and became one of four SIREN Poets commissioned by Cape Farewell to explore climate change in the face of COVID. In 2022 the UNFCCC (United Nations Climate Change) nominated Liv and 50 other visionary thinkers and interdisciplinary thought leaders worldwide to join the Resilience Frontier Initiative, and co-create visions of desirable climate-resilience futures beyond 2030.

A Radio 4 Slam winner, a former Bard of Exeter, host of The Rainbow Fish Speakeasy and of The Hip Yak Poetry Shack – Liv Torc runs the poetry stage at WOMAD, Banana Poems, the Hip Yak Poetry School, Hot Poets CIC (alongside Chris Redmond) and the lockdown haiku and photography project, Haiflu – as featured on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme.

Liv was kind enough to answer some questions we had for her:

You and Chris Redmond are Co-Artistic Directors of Hot Poets, a UK Arts Council funded project. Hot Poets places spoken word poets in climate organisations so they can write about the science behind the work that is being done. In your experience, what are the greatest benefits of combining poetry and science and have there been any big surprises? 

Science and poetry are both about ideas and enquiry, they have lots of touch points. Climate scientists and poets are on a very similar mission, so there is a lot of camaraderie in collaborating. What scientists often lack is the skill to turn their study into story, to find accessible and human ways to communicate their work. 

Poetry often lacks rigorous investigation and complexity of information. Working together, poets are given the knowledge and insight to explain and educate on an intellectual level but also weave journey, emotion and relatability into the science.

It’s a tough gig for even the most experienced poet, making science accessible and engaging, while not losing the facts takes a lot of craft. There have been many surprises doing this work but it has been wonderful to see how we have been embraced by the science and climate action community.


Could you tell us a little bit about your experience of working with different communities and any future plans you might have to work with schools?

We are developing a schools offer and have run numerous Hot Poets workshops for primary, secondary, PHD students, adults with SEN, scientists and the adult poetry community. We have also worked closely with National Poetry Day on developing a schools pack. This work is still ongoing and will depend on future funding. Our Hot Poets films are all currently available on EcoFlix streaming service, available in their online schools programme and can be accessed in education settings.
Images courtesy of Liv Torc