The Earth is a Bookcase—Beth O’Brien

The Earth is a Bookcase came into being during the summer of 2020. Despite a global pandemic forcing museums to close their doors, the wonderful team at the Lapworth Museum of Geology allowed Beth to undertake a remote internship, creating written content for their first souvenir guidebook.

Beth O’Brien launched The Earth is a Bookcase in June 2021. Your copy is available now.

UK £6.00 +P&P


In the hands of O’Brien, these palimpsest messages from the archives of the Lapworth Museum are delivered with understated precision. This is geopoetry hewed with razor etches. R. M. Francis—poet, academic lecturer and workshop facilitator

O’Brien has created a unique record of a period of collaboration with museum colleagues and one which draws the reader on, to learn more about how people have used, categorised and archived the natural world. Brian Comber—poet 

This pamphlet does not only piece together the puzzles of our geological past, it also holds up a feminist lens to highlight the prejudice that female scholars have faced in times of great scientific exploration, considering how change can be implemented for those who come next. O’Brien exposes the invisible lines of society and landscape, and the imperfect grace within. Above all, we are reminded that “it might seem untidy, but there is comfort in the earth”. Claire Walker—poet and editor

In her latest pamphlet Beth combines her talent for storytelling and her innate curiosity to create fascinating poems inspired by her time working at Lapworth Museum of Geology. Beth captures the wonder of the natural world in work which is by turns insightful and impactful. Her short poems bring to life characters from the past, giving voice to women from all walks of life and the writing feels fresh and unexpected. She deftly evokes images from the past, creating a collection which leads the reader on a journey through the ages. This is another excellent selection of poems from this skilled writer. Kate Wilson – author of One Night in January

You can see a review by Neil Leadbeater for ‘Write Out Loud’ by clicking on this link.

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