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Bee Journal

A poem sequence by Sean Borodale centring on bees and the hive, set to recordings from cities and accompanied by music. With beatboxer Bellatrix as the Queen Bee.

Sean Borodale's intimate poem sequence was written as a series of field notes over two years in Somerset. His reflective, passionate chronicle of beekeeping, of the changing seasons and the alchemy of the hive is also an account of the creative act of writing and the alchemy of composition.

The poems are set to the soundscape of the human hive: the mechanised city, with its pulses of human construction and communication, its humming motifs of social movement and the isolated sounds of the single cells within it.

At the heart of the sequence, in the heart of the hive, is the queen bee - voiced by champion beatboxer Bellatrix.

The soundtrack is compiled from wildtrack and recordings from cities around the world, and includes music by Elizabeth Purnell and Neil Sorrell.

Sean Borodale is one of 2014's Next Generation Poets. He is currently Creative Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. His second collection, Human Work: A Poet's Cookbook, is newly published.

He was selected as a Granta New Poet in 2012, and Bee Journal was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Costa Book Award in 2013. Mighty Beast, his documentary poem for Radio 3 (also produced by Sara Davies), won the Radio Academy Gold Award in 2014 for Best Feature or Documentary.

A Cast Iron Radio Production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

30 minutes


Binaural sound

Binaural sound

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