Flying High! down Sussex way

I took all 170 minibeast photos that appear in my first book, Buzzing! But when it came to my second book, Flying High!  I knew that I had neither the equipment nor the expertise needed to take the bird photos it required. And so it is that only 9 of the photos in Flying High! were taken by me. The rest have been taken by extremely talented bird photographers from around Britain. One of whom, is Phil Winter.

I’m proud to relate that there are 13 of Phil’s extraordinary bird photos in Flying High!

Phil is from East Sussex. His local newspaper, the Sussex Express, picked up on this story a couple of weeks back, and featured him – and Flying High! – in the following article:

Article from the Sussex Express, July 2017

Article from the Sussex Express, July 2017

Which photos in Flying High! are by Phil? Well, they’re all listed under his name on the Acknowledgements pages. They include Tawny Owls at night on page 116, a Blackbird begging for food on page 50 and a Robin in the snow that opens the Winter section on page  96. Check them out. They’re stunning.

Meanwhile, on the Gallery page here, you can see a photo of the farm on which Phil takes lots of his photos. (Well, it’s mostly a photo of the lovely little girls who live on the farm – but you get a glimpse of the landscape too!)

Thank you to Phil, and to all the talented photographers who’ve allowed their photos to be included in Flying High!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

Tang Hall Family Festival

There was lots – and I mean lots – going on at the Tang Hall Family Festival in York yesterday. It was spread over three sites – Tang Hall Community Centre, St Nicks and Hull Road Park. And it was all free.

I got to two of the three sites. Here are some snaps to give you a flavour of what was going on at the Tang Hall Community Centre site, where I was leading story-telling sessions.

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What did I get up to there? Well, I led a story-telling/poetry quest, in which Prince Dennis of Tanghallia explored his kingdom and successfully fulfilled his mission, thus becoming King Dennis of Tanghallia.

And then I welcomed princesses into the golden palace of Tanghallia, where they rode on unicorns and sang songs in praise of Tanghallia. (It may have looked to you as if we were in a yellow gazebo standing on beanbag cubes, but that just shows how little imagination you have!) (By the way, you may remember those beanbag cubes from my visit to Tang Hall Community Centre last December, during which they became sledges and snowballs and pyramids.)

And then those same princesses shed their royal connections and created a story in which we all flew (using our magic powers, natch) to Africa, where we went on an adventure to catch a venomous snake.

I learned last time I was at Tang Hall that the children have amazing amounts of imagination and creative energy, and it was a great pleasure to encourage them to put these into action again on this occasion.

Then, just as I was leaving the site to go home, two children came up to me and asked me to perform some poems for them. How could I refuse? To start with they each chose one of my Buzzing! photos, and I performed the poem that went with each one. But have I mentioned how creative the children round these parts are? When they chose their third photo (a caterpillar), I was about to start performing my caterpillar poem, when they decided – quite rightly – that they could do just as good a job themselves. So there and then, they wrote – and then performed – a caterpillar poem of their own. Which went like this:

My spikes are so hairy
They’re big and they’re scary
And people are frightened of me
I change my ways
And how I behave
And crawl from tree to tree.

By Maisie and Nathan, both aged 10

Owzat?!

Thank you to Tang Hall Big Local for inviting me to be part of this Family Festival, and to Tang Hall Community Centre Manager Stephen Collins for letting me use his wonderful beanbag cubes again.

A big thank you, too, to all the fabulously enthusiastic festival-goers who welcomed me back to Tang Hall Community Centre so warmly, and who joined in my events yesterday.

The icing on the cake for me was that I discovered that up on the wall in the Community Centre lounge are two beautifully framed photos taken during my December story-telling workshops. I was absolutely thrilled to see them there.

A participant in my December 2016 Tang Hall story-telling workshops.

One of the photos from my December 2016 Tang Hall story-telling workshops that’s now gracing the walls of the Community Centre.

So, that’s a brief run-down of the Tang Hall Community Centre part of this 3-venue festival. (Though I forgot to mention the belly dancers, the bouncy castle, the ukelele players, the face painter, the pizza making, the ice lollies, the virtual reality headset, and … and … and!) I also looked in at the St Nicks part of the festival yesterday too. But I’ll tell you about that another time.

Meanwhile, if you live down Tang Hall way, do keep tabs on all the great activities that Tang Hall Big Local puts on.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Literary Limerick No. 5

So, how did I choose which novel was to feature in my Literary Limerick No. 5? Well, I met Horatio Clare at a Ryedale Book Festival event last month. We were both on the same bill – a nature-themed day in Scampston Walled Garden. And what a jolly interesting chap Horatio turned out to be!There was an array of his books on sale at the festival bookstall. Being a bird person, I bought the one with a bird in the title: A Single Swallow.

Now, I’m not a travel-book person. Or rather, I didn’t think I was. But Horatio’s book about following the route swallows take from Africa to here was so exquisitely written, so beguiling and entrancing, that I’m going to have to revise my opinion of travel writing!

One of the countries Horatio – and the swallows – visit on their journey is Algeria. Which led me to the book for my next literary limerick. It’s a novel set in Algeria. Can you guess which novel it is?

Did you get it?

I share Horatio’s sentiment: ‘Like so many who are first taught to read French through the strong simplicity of Albert Camus, Algeria to me was Camus’ country.’

If only La Peste didn’t seem so relevant to the times we find ourselves living in …

On a lighter note, try your hand at more of my Literary Limericks here.

Anneliese Emmans Dean- theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Ecotherapy at St Nicks

I put on a poetry-writing session with the Ecotherapy ‘Connect to Nature with Creative Writing’ Group at St Nicks in York last week. They wanted me to begin my session with a few of my own poems. This is one that I thought apt:

Then we started our workshop proper.

I was bowled over by the quality of work the participants came up with. It far exceeded my expectations. I’d like to thank all the members of the group for letting me come and join them, and for sharing their thoughts and words and imaginations with me.

I was there as part of a project to … ah, well, that would be telling. More about that later!

Meanwhile, use your words wisely, use them well.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Ryedale Book Festival at Scampston Hall

Just a quick heads up about the fabulous event on *tomorrow* (Sunday 25 June) in Scampston Hall’s beautiful Walled Garden, near Malton. ‘A day of nature-themed literary activities for all the family’. I look forward to seeing you there! Find out more here.

Article from the Ryedale Gazette & Herald

Article from the Ryedale Gazette & Herald

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Flying High! launch event

In case you were unfortunate enough Image result for emoji wink to miss the York Festival of Ideas launch of my new book Flying High! last Saturday, here’s a little snippet from my show. I’ll tell you a bit more about the whole event below.

The launch event took place on the new Heslington East campus of the University of York as part of the …

The event was a ‘triple bill’ consisting of:

  • A guided bird walk led by RSPB Vice-President Prof. Sir John Lawton, who wrote the Foreword to the book. (To be strictly accurate, John Lawton led *two* guided bird walks, as the first one filled up.) (The second one did too!)

Matt, taking full advantage of the bird walk photo opportunities. (Photo: Ann Taylor)

  • Flying High! show from me in which, as you’ve seen in the video above, I performed a selection of the poems in the book.

Performing my Flying High! show (Photo: Vikki Pendry)

  • And then a Flying High! book signing.

Signing copies of Flying High! (Photo: Vikki Pendry)

It gave me great pleasure to look out over the audience and see ages ranging from under 10 to over 80, smiling and joining in.

And it was particularly pleasing to meet three of the photographers whose sensational photos appear in the book, and who had come along specially for the launch event. Here I am (rather windswept!) with two of them, Mandy West and Roy Lowry (along with  RSPB V-P Prof. Sir John Lawton).

Photographer Mandy West,  RSPB V-P Prof. Sir John Lawton, me, photographer Roy Lowry

I was thrilled that photographers Mandy, Roy – and Lindsey Bowes – were able to attend the launch, and so pleased that the audience applauded their fabulous photos.

With Mandy West, one of the Flying High! photographers

What did the audience think of the event? Well, take a read:

‘Wonderful. So much fun.’ Ruth T

‘Lovely morning at University of York. Fantastic presentation, we loved it.’ Ann T

‘The show was so fascinating and your performance was absolutely brilliant. I was totally inspired: on my walk home I was looking out and listening out to see if I could identify any birds.’ Rowan J

‘A delightful performance and book launch.’ Margaret K

‘A lovely morning of poetry reminding us of the brilliance of birds and creative writing.’ Vikki P

So, that’s Flying High! launched – in York at least! If you fancy a Flying High! show where you are, just get in touch.

A very big Thank You to Prof. Sir John Lawton, for all his Flying High! support and his invaluable contributions to the launch event. Thanks, too, to all the York Festival of Ideas team for including our event in this year’s festival.

Meanwhile, I’ve another Flying High! ‘show + bird walk + book signing’ combo on 28 July at St Nicks in York. See my What’s On page for more details of this and other events – including the fabulous Scampston Hall/Ryedale Book Festival event I’ll be at next Sunday (and where Flying High! will be on sale).

You can find out more about my Flying High! book here, read the first press review here, and order your copy below.


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First press review of Flying High!

Cover of Flying High! by Anneliese Emmans DeanThe first press review of my new book Flying High! is out. It’s a fabulous feature article in The York Press by Stephen Lewis.

Read the article here

I was thrilled to see my book described as being ‘glorious’, and that it ‘will delight children and young-at-heart adults alike.’

The review goes on:

‘what makes the book so special is the sheer joy, fun and enthusiasm Anneliese brings to her versions of common British birds.’

Well, I can’t ask for much better than that!

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Thank you to Brambleby Books, designer Tanya Warren and all the photographers whose photos feature, for helping me to create this book.

You can find out more about Flying High! here, and there are some sample videos here.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life