York Literature Festival 2018

Necessity is the mother of invention. So when, due to circumstances beyond her control, Carole Bromley was unable to make our joint children’s poetry event for York Literature Festival last month, we hatched a plan.

Part 1 of the plan, hatched by Carole, was that she give me a list of the poems in her new children’s book Blast Off! that she would have read. Along with the type of introduction she would have included.

Part 2 of the plan was hatched by me. Rather than my reading Carole’s poems, I would ask members of the audience to do so instead. And that turned out to be one of the better ideas I have had recently! Children and grown-ups in the audience came up to the front and, sight-unseen, read out poems from Carole’s book.

I was so impressed by how well the children (who I’d say were between 7 and 11) read. Read out loud. Read out loud to an audience of people they didn’t know. Seriously impressive!

So, all in all, our York Literature Festival event panned out like this:

  • 30 minutes of Flying High! poems from me, accompanied by projected bird images, bird song and plenty of audience participation
  • 30 minutes of Carole’s Blast Off! poems, each one introduced by me and read by a different audience member
  • 30 minutes of poetry writing workshop, led by me. (Once again I was very impressed by the fact that each and every person present wrote their own – inventive and amusing – poem during this workshop. And read it out to the rest of us.)

And the result? Well, the event was rated ‘Excellent’ by all who filled in a feedback form, so that was very good to read!

My personal highlight of the event was a surprise visit at the beginning from one of Flying High!‘s dedicatees:

A surprise VIP appearance by one of Flying High!'s dedicatees
A surprise VIP appearance by one of Flying High!’s dedicatees

Thank you to all involved in this event, including Waterstones (see above) and festival volunteers Christine and Angela (see below) who ensured everything ran smoothly and enjoyably.

With the (ever helpful) York Literature Festival volunteer staff
With the (ever helpful) York Literature Festival volunteer staff

Here’s to my next Flying High! festival event. (And to Carole being able to join me next time.)

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

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