Episode Summary

Another Friday, another episode. Aren’t you enjoying receiving these episodes on a more regular basis? Just before we go on a summer break? This one is just as good as the last with Zakiya McKenzie talking about writing and forests and colonialism.

Episode Notes

Zakiya McKenzie, one of the first writers in the forest for the Forestry Commission, talks with Sheree Mack, The Earth Sea Love Podcast’s host about:

  • Embracing sweet moments in each day
  • The value of sleep
  • Becoming a writer of the forest
  • The barriers for Black and People of Colour within white establishments 
  • An arboretum, a collection of trees 
  • Unravelling plant history
  • Colonialism
  • Comparisons between Jamaican and British landscapes
  • Forest ecologies
  • Childhood experiences with nature
  • Black and Green Bristol
  • Experiences in nature for Black people
  • Working in partnership with other organisations to provide opportunities
  • PhD in Journalists from the Caribbean during the Windrush generation
  • Racism within the PhD system
  • The balance between creative and academic writing
  • Future publications and events


Zakiya McKenzie is a PhD candidate with the Leverhulme Trust-supported Caribbean Literary Heritage project at the University of Exeter researching Black British journalism in the post-war period. Zakiya is a writer and storyteller and was the 2019 writer-in-residence for Forestry England during its centenary year. In Bristol, she was 2017 Black and Green Ambassador and is a volunteer at Ujima Community Radio station. She regularly leads nature, art and writing workshops, including one on Caribbean storytelling for primary schools. Her work has featured at the Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol, the Institute for Modern Languages Research at the University of London, the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, the Free Word Centre, at Cheltenham Literature Festival, on BBC’s Woman’s Hour, Farming Today and Inside Out West. She has written for Smallwoods Magazine, the Willowherb Review and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Website – Zakiya M

Twitter – Zah – KEY- yah