lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

New Poetry Books (I am in!)

Recently, two rather lovely poetry books have been published, and both of them feature poems by me, so I thought I’d share their stories.

The first is this one:


I was first approached by John Tennent in May, 2013. He is a global authority on butterflies and a dedicated reader of poetry – and also, a dedicated collector of insect poems.

The story starts before this, however – I found an interesting article in a science magazine about a moth that drinks the tears of birds. Although there are well-documented moths that drink the tears of animals that cannot brush them away, this behaviour had never been observed before in relation to a bird.

I wrote a poem about it, but needed more information, so in October 2011 I contacted the authors of the scientific paper that the article in the science magazine referred to. The authors of the paper were the scientists who had discovered the moth.

Dr David C Lees was one of these scientists, and he wrote back confirming details, letting me know that my poem was accurate, and generously providing me with the only photos taken of the moth.

When John Tennent was contacting his colleagues for poems about insects, Dr Lees sent him my poem about the Madagascan Robber Moth (as it’s known!).

So – then John Tennent contacted me to ask if he could include my poem in his new book. I agreed, of course, and earlier this month it arrived in the post, and it is a handsome thing.

There are a lot of poems in this book – and even if I wasn’t in it, I would have been one of its first customers. It’s not often you find a book so packed with wonderful poems about insects. It may be the only one!

If you are interested in buying The Poetry Bug, it is available from Parthian.

The next book is this one:


This is a collection of poems about the creatures that share our city spaces with us. Actually, I’ll quote the blurb on the back:

“Unseen in the street plan of any city run the paths of the wild creatures whose lives are lived alongside ours, and which occasionally cross our own. And sometimes a door will unexpectedly open to that other city, showing us something startling and unforgettable; foxes, falcons, mice, whales, balloons, reckless pilots, lost ships. All we need to do is pay attention.”

Hailing foxes is the second collection edited by poet and illustrator Dru Marland. Dru has an enormous and eclectic variety of talents, including but not limited to photography, mending bicycles and keeping Morris Travellers (one of which she happens to own) on the road.

But my favourite of Dru’s skills is how wonderfully she illustrates, and how proud I am, not only to be in this beautiful, full colour creation, hailing foxes, but also in the former collection, inking bitterns.

The poems are excellent as well of course.

I highly recommend this book, and the former, they are among the favourites in my collection.

ONLY available from Gert Macky.

Christmas present list, perhaps?




  1. This is great, congrats! 🙂


  2. Ula

    Congratulations! Both look beautiful.


  3. Fab Liz, both look lovely, and how wonderful a moth that drinks bird’s tears, I can see how that would fire your imagination.


    • Thanks, Sue, it’s one of my favourite poems of mine.


  4. Congrats on both books! I think learning about the Moth drinking tears is something really quite neat. I can see why one would write a poem about this because of what the moth does. If the 2nd book’s illustrations are as good as what I see on the cover, then I bet they are beautiful inside and go well with the poetry


    • Thanks, Birgit – yes, hailing foxes is just gorgeous inside, every page is richly illustrated. So is the former book, inking bitterns.


  5. misswriter77

    That’s a really interesting story about how your poem came to be published. It seems it was fate. I’m intrigued about the moth that drinks tears of other animals. I really want to read your poem now.


    • Hello, misswriter! Sorry I didn’t see this comment until now. The poem is in my book ‘Animal Magic’. Available if you click on the picture of it on the right hand side of my blog.


  6. These books look gorgeous — and I love your outlook on animals and conservation, and raising awareness for their well-being. Kudos to you, and keep up the fabulous work!

    I found you through the A-to-Z sign-up list… I hope you’re still participating? I couldn’t find the badge, or any newer post than this one… Oh, I hope so… The blogosphere needs more people like you, more content like this.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs


    • Hello, Guilie, and welcome to my blog! I have been a little lax in my entries lately, I’m afraid, but the blog is indeed alive and well, just hibernating for a while, and it will spring into life on April 1st! in fact, I’m researching now and have been all week. I look forward to visiting you on my journeys!


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