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Giving Voice

A book of poetry celebrating the human-animal bond and the place holistic therapies have in the treatment of animals.

Giving Voice was inspired, compiled and edited by vet Ilse Pedler of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons, BAHVS.  Trained conventionally, these vets have gone on to gain further qualifications to add to the choice of treatments they can offer their animal patients.

The poems reflect a deep love of animals and pay tribute to the significant role CAM therapies can play in their wellbeing. Contributions have come from vets, doctors, supporters of CAM4animals and other poets who feel strongly that they should have the right to choose such treatment options for their animals where appropriate. Some poems are from established poets, others from people moved to write for the very first time.

There are poems about dogs, cats, horses, cows, a falcon and even a tortoise. Rescued animals feature alongside wonderful descriptions of CAM therapies. And most movingly of all, there are poems devoted to the grief felt when losing a beloved animal.

Ilse Pedler

Brief biographies of our poets

from Rescue by Kerry Darbishire
from Rescue by Kerry Darbishire

Established poets

Alison Brackenbury is a well-known award-winning poet who often writes about nature and whose latest work, Gallop, was published in 2019 by Carcanet. Her ‘poems are haunted by horses, unseasonable love, history, hares and unreasonable hope’.

Geraldine Green is writer in residence at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal. Often inspired by nature, Geraldine is a prolific poet. Her latest work, Passing Through was published by Indigo Dreams this year.

Jane Commane is an editor, writer and publisher of poetry as well as mentor and tutor. Her collection, Assembly Lines was published by BloodAxe Books in 2018.

Kerry Darbishire is a writer, songwriter and poet who finds inspiration from the landscape she lives in and the animals that inhabit it. Dawntreader and A Lift of Wings have been published by Indigo Dreams.

Dr Emily Bilman teaches poetry in Geneva and has had several anthologies published by Troubadour including Resilience.

Rebecca Gethin is inspired by her roots in Dartmoor and the Italian Alps and has had many poems published. She also teaches poetry to prisoners. Vanishings is about to be published by Palewell Press.

Angie Holden is a creative writing lecturer who writes short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

Stephen Payne is a published poet and a cognitive science academic. Pattern Beyond Chance was published by Happenstance Press in 2015.

Nicola Warwick has two poetry collections published including The Knifethrower’s Wishlist. Nicola’s work often reveals human relationships through the lens of the natural world.

Sarah Mnatzaganian is an Anglo-Armenian poet and has been widely published and shortlisted for the Poetry Business pamphlet competition 2016/17.


Richard Allport is qualified in herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. He too is a writer of short stories and poetry.

Mark Carpenter is now retired and writing lots of poetry, having integrated homeopathy and acupuncture into his small animal practice for several decades.

SFC uses CAM therapies in practice since 1995.

JM​ practices holistic therapies including acupuncture and has a lifelong love of horses.

Alan Slater uses homeopathy, acupuncture and chiropractic as well as kinesiology for food intolerances and desensitisation. He writes poetry and loves dancing.

Charissa Smith comes from a long line of Hebridean fishermen and co-founded the Australian Holistic Veterinary Association.

Judith Webster uses homeopathy as a cornerstone of her veterinary work. She also farms cattle and sheep on the edge of Dartmoor and writes poetry when she needs to stay awake during lambing and calving.

Ilse Pedler specialises in homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine in a busy small animal practice. She is also a published poet as well as being the poet-in-residence at Sidmouth Folk Week. The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels is published by Seren.


Julia Chatterjee was born in Russia and is both a Doctor of Homeopathy and a writer of poems, fairy tales and stories for children and adults in Russian.

John English was a GP and homeopath who lectured at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. Amongst other things, he wrote poems about the remedies to help his students learn – see Enjoy Learning Homeopathy.

Also, JH is a horsewoman who has worked for several professional riders who have used complementary therapies to keep their horses drug free and fit for high-level competition.