A poem inspired by a visit to the Manchester Museum

I thoroughly recommend Manchester Museum for any age. There’s lots going on there, and there are many ways to enjoy the exhibits. Here are a couple of videos I filmed and edited for Manchester Museum, showing the journey that Helen Clare took when writing her poetry that’s inspired by the museum collections.



Entomology Manchester

Writing a poem seems to be a mystery for many people, and it is indeed an act of creativity by those who are able to observe the world within or around them and to perceive it in a new way. A poem can be about anything, from old love memories to a crawling bug; it is about capturing a feeling that you have experienced. However, it’s hard to know where you should start. Helen Clare, a freelance writer and poet from Manchester, presents a possible approach to how to write a poem on the basis of, say, a visit to the Manchester Museum. If you want to know how to write a poem, this story is for you.

Below you can listen to the poem narrated and presented by Helen Clare. The printed text of the poem can be found here.

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Mismatch of Legs

Recently I was sorting through all the specimens which either had no name, or were mixed in with other species so their individual identity was unknown. I came across this relatively small box of 12 specimens. As you can imagine, they were piled into the box, with legs and claws everywhere! To say the least …

Faux Florida

  Cancer incisus Leach, 1814 These specimens, with the name Xantho florida written on their boxes, were probably of biggest surprise to me, not due to their appearance or their beauty (although as with all of these specimens- they are beautiful!). It was the name that concerned me. I had 4 records of this species …

Heart Shaped Predator

Here are some of my photographs from Manchester Museum up close and personal! If you have an interest in nature, zoology, marine biology or the outdoors you will love the collections at Manchester Museum.

The Natural History of Crustaceans


Phyllolithodes papillosus Brandt, 1848

Apart from the obvious delicacy and beauty of this specimen, which overwhelmed me when I first saw it, it was actually the ‘u’ shaped depression in the middle of the dorsal side of this specimen that caught my eye. It looks spectacular and, now that the specimen is bleached of it’s colour you can see clearly every ridge and nook. It would originally have been a muddy brown/green with dark red ridges, colours which are long gone from our specimen here in Manchester. It seems like an unusual little thing, which I like and it makes me want to know more.

I then went on to find that it’s common name is the heart crab. For such a masculine and sturdy looking thing, I couldn’t help but think the heart crab didn’t do it much justice.

They are found from subtidal zones right down to 183m…

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The Importance of Museums to Zoologists

Hi! Been very busy recently so a big sorry for not posting for a while, I have been working on a short film to promote the Manchester Museum, and show the work I do behind the scenes as a museum volunteer. I aim to show Zoologists like me how important the museum is to their education. The …

A day in the life of a taxonomist

I know I can't really call myself a taxonomist yet, seeing as I've only been doing this volunteer job 2 weeks and to be honest know very little about taxonomy (this is something I hope to learn a lot about through this project), but I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the wonders a …

Getting Started

I have started a project in the Entomology Department of my local museum, sorting through their specimens of crustaceans with the aim of sorting and ordering them, cataloguing them into a database and reviewing and renewing all nomenclature of the specimens to a modern standard. The project is huge - over 500 specimens which, for …