BACKGROUND: From October 31 through November 12, 2021, the United Kingdom will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. According to the  COP26 website, “The COP26 summit will bring decision makers together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

More than 100 world leaders are expected to attend the Glasgow conference, including United States President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Though Sweden’s Greta Thunberg has grown disillusioned with the empty promises and “30 years of blah, blah, blah” from world leaders, the 18-year-old activist has agreed to attend—but cautions that we must act now because, “There is no Planet B.” Many believe that COP26 is our last chance to tackle the climate catastrophe.” 

Sometimes, it takes outsiders to develop solutions. So while the powers-that-be hammer out ideas and agreements during the 13-day COP26 Summit, let the poets take on the challenge of HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH. When the series is completed, we will try to get all the featured poems to Greta Thunberg in the hope that these words, thoughts, and ideas will inspire this modern-day Joan of Arc to continue her fight for our planet. See below for the prompt. NOTE: We are NOT looking for nature poems per se (i.e., we are NOT looking for odes to nature) and we are NOT looking for elegies for the earth. We are looking for ideas (real or imagined) of ways to heal the earth. We want this to be a positive, hopeful, helpful, inspiring series — a sharing of ideas that can help the earth. 

PROMPT: Submit a poem of any reasonable length. Your poem can offer practical ideas of how to heal the earth from a personal perspective (i.e., something specific to you and not didactic or soapboxy) or your poem can offer fanciful thoughts that defy the practical. What we like: First-person narrative poems that offer insight into the author’s life, mind, thoughts, feelings. What we don’t like: Didactic poems, sermons, rants, diatribes, and most rhyming poetry (we make exceptions for poetic forms such as villanelles and pantoums). Note: One poem per author, please. 

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media. We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors—the main benefit to you is that we will publicize your work to our 10,000+ followers. If your poem was previously published, please tell us where/when so we can credit the original publisher.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose on the Silver Birch Press blog in the HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Poetry Series starting in November 2021. We’ll also feature the poetry on Twitter and Facebook.


To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, email address). Also list your home state or country.

3. In the same MS Word document, include a one-paragraph author’s bio, written in the third person. You are encouraged to include links to your books, websites, and social media accounts — we want to help promote you!

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem or creative process written in the first person (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. Send a photo of yourself as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones1.jpg, Jones2.jpg).

6. Email to—and put “HOW TO HEAL” in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021

PHOTO: The Blue Marble is an image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft on its way to the Moon, and is one of the most reproduced images in history. NASA released the image on December 23, 1972, amid a surge in environmental activism, and the photograph became a symbol of the environmental movement—as a depiction of the Earth’s frailty and vulnerability. Credit: Johnson Space Center of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).