This year Women In Parenthesis is celebrating the life of the Philosopher Mary Midgley, who would have been 100 this year. To commemorate her birth and her remarkable achievements as a philosopher, we will be publishing a special collection of poetry by young people in her name.
One of our aims is to encourage more and different kinds of thinking. We are inviting young people, across the world, to send us an illustrated poem. The poem can explore any aspect of Midgley’s work. We will pick some to share on our Instagram page @notesfromabiscuittin and a selection will be published in the collection.
How to take part
To submit a poem, and have a chance to be included in the collection, please complete the following 4 steps.
- Download the Gaia and Philosophical Plumbing worksheets. By completing these sheets you will learn about Mary Midgley’s philosophy, and why philosophers need poetry.
- Write a poem inspired by Midgley’s philosophy. You might like to illustrate it.
- Take a photograph of your poem. Perhaps you would like to include your favourite biscuits in the photo!
- Upload the photo via this website. This portal will close when the Biscuit Tin arrives back at the Midgley Archive at the end of its around the world adventure. Covid-19 has delayed this journey and as a result the earliest this will be is April 2021. We will keep this updated as the project progresses.
- Download your certificates for completing the worksheets.
*If would like to share the poem via instagram or twitter account do so using @notesfromabiscuittin or #notesfromabiscuittin. Please note, poems shared only this way will not be considered for inclusion in the publication. To be considered for the publication you must also upload your photo via the website.*
Mary Midgley was interested in the way that our thinking can go wrong. She thought that philosophy (the kind of thinking that philosophers do) was a bit like plumbing. Download a worksheet and find out why!
Mary Midgley cared deeply about the natural world and was a pioneering environmental philosopher. She embraced Gaia theory, the idea of the earth as a living organism like a plant or animal.
We will publish the Notes From a Biscuit Tin Young Poets Collection in 2021. Make sure your parent, guardian or teacher leaves their contact details so we can let you know if your poem is selected for inclusion.
The Collection will form a permanent part of the Midgley archive at Durham University.
About Notes from a Biscuit Tin
Young Poets is part of 'Notes from a biscuit Tin', a year-long celebration of Mary Midgley’s philosophical vision.
Mary Midgley Themes
A guide to the main themes of Mary Midgley's work in the Special Collections of Durham University Library Website.
Submit your poem
Successful submissions will receive a confirmation email. If you experience problems with this submission form or do not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be extremely grateful if parents, guardians & teachers could help us by completing a brief (5 minute) survey which will help inform and improve our practice. As a thank you for your time and thoughts, we will send you an electronic copy of Mary Midgley’s unpublished radio talk, ‘Rings and Books’. This talk was written in 1953 and reflects on family life and philosophy.