Hey Hey Hay!

So, three days after performing my Buzzing! show at the Hay Festival I was back there, this time to take part in a recording of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Shared Planet’.

Listen to the programme

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Now it’s one thing to be performing my own show, but quite another to be sandwiched between host Monty Don and special correspondent Kelvin Boot on one side, and esteemed fellow panellists Professor Ralph Pite of Bristol University and Guardian journalist and natural history author Patrick Barkham on the other. (Which might explain why it looks as if I’m praying in the photo below!)

Recording Shared Planet at the Hay Festival

Recording Shared Planet at the Hay Festival (Photo by Mark Avery)

This episode of ‘Shared Planet’ was entitled ‘Nature and the Written Word’, and was recorded in front of a live audience in the BBC Tent at the Hay Festival. (If you listen to the programme, you may hear some thudding from the music tent next door!)

The day goes down in history for me as the day I took my first ever ‘selfie’! (Yes, I have emerged into the 21st century!) However, as you can see below, I think my selfie technique has a way to go yet. (Making sure my finger isn’t obscuring the lens might be a very good start!)

My first attempt at a selfie!

My first attempt at a selfie!

The image you were supposed to see in the background was this:

The BBC tent at the Hay Festival

The BBC tent at the Hay Festival, where we recorded our episode of  ‘Shared Planet’ (plus sundry thudding from the tent next door!)

So, all in all a most memorable day, topped off by my meeting Mark Avery, who knows everything there is to know about Passenger Pigeons – and a lot more besides. A very interesting chap, and a very good chauffeur too! (Mark was a panellist in the ‘Shared Planet’ episode recorded straight after mine at the Festival.)

And guess what! It had stopped raining in Hay by the time I was back for the BBC recording, and oh …

Hay *not* in the rain!

The Hay Festival *not* in the rain!

… what a beautiful place Hay is in the sunshine!

Hay in the evening sunshine

Hay in the evening sunshine

Listen to ‘Shared Planet’

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing Poetry to Life

 

 

Masterful Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

Garden Organic’s Ryton Gardens near Coventry is a fabulously beautiful place, and on Saturday it was teeming with amazing people – Master Gardeners and Master Composters from across the country who had gathered for their annual National Masters Conference.

National Masters Conference cake!

National Masters Conference (Olympics-themed) cake!

At last year’s conference, my eco-musical Compost!The (mini-)Musical (commissioned by York Rotters) won an award for innovation.

National Masters Innovation Award 2011 for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

National Masters Innovation Award 2011 for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

This year, Catherine Bamford from York Rotters and I were invited to the conference to give the delegates a flavour of the musical.

A packed marquee of some 160 Master Gardeners and Master Composters raised the roof with their enthusiastic drumming, chanting and singing of the musical. What a great sound – from a record-breaking number of Compost! performers.

Afterwards the participants were teeming with suggestions: we ought to go on a national tour – no, a world tour;  if the ‘Military Wives’ could do it, so could the ‘Master Gardeners and Composters’, they enthused!

Although we have no national (or international) tour planned – as yet! – lots of delegates bought a Compost!The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack, so they’ll be taking the musical back to their part of the country and putting on performances where they are. I’m looking forward to hearing how these performances go!

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack flyer

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack flyer

Next on the stage after us was Chris Collins, the Blue Peter gardener, who gave an inspiring talk about how to engage and enthuse children about plants and gardening.

Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, on stage at Garden Organic after our Compost! The (mini-)Musical. 30 June 2012

Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, the next speaker on stage at Garden Organic after our Compost! The (mini-)Musical. 30 June 2012

Thank you to everyone at Garden Organic who was involved in organising the conference and putting on the workshops. And hats off to all the Master Gardeners and Master Composters who give up their time to volunteer in their communities, making them greener, more sustainable places, full of happier, healthier and more fulfilled people. (I can say this with confidence as the research presented at the conference had the stats to prove it!)

Me with Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins at the National Masters Conference at Garden Organic, 30 june 2012

Me with Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins at the National Masters Conference at Garden Organic, 30 june 2012

Stop Press: The post-conference feedback has been great too. Take a look at this quote from the (Masters award-winning)  ‘The Compost Bin’ blog:

After the lunch break we were treated to a performance of “Compost – the mini musical”  from Anneliese Emmans Dean and York Rotters  – which was absolutely BRILLIANT. So funny and creative! If you can go and see it I recommend doing so. It is also available to purchase as a teaching tool .’

Many thanks!

Anneliese Emmans Deaninfo@theBigBuzz.biz –  www.theBigBuzz.biz

The Royal Wedding

Well, I certainly hadn’t expected that I would end up as part of the BBC Radio York Royal Wedding commentary team on Friday, but that’s exactly how things turned out …

The Royal Wedding in BBC Radio York's Breakfast Show studio, with host Adam Tomlinson and Fashion City York's Russell Norton

The Royal Wedding in BBC Radio York's Breakfast Show studio, with host Adam Tomlinson and Fashion City York's Russell Norton

I had been invited in to encourage BBC Radio York listeners to write some Royal Wedding ‘ditties’, and to perform some Royal Wedding poems of my own, which I duly did:

But as the morning went on, and the guests arrived in their stunning (and not so stunning) hats, and Princes William and Harry set off for Westminster Abbey, I became more and more engrossed in the spectacle …

and more and more carried away by the whole affair …

And along with Russell Norton of Fashion City York, I stayed right up to the moment Kate Middleton entered Westminster Abbey at 11 o’clock, at which point BBC Radio York handed over to Radio 4 for coverage of the wedding service itself.

As Kate made her way to Westminster Abbey, I was serenading her (had she but known it) and the Radio York listeners with a poem:

When I left the BBC Radio York studios in the centre of York, I was greeted by the fabulous sound of the bells of York Minster pealing in celebration:

Then I made my way back to my home village of Heslington …

Heslington Village decked out for the Royal Wedding

Heslington Village decked out for the Royal Wedding

… for our Royal Wedding street party:

Our Royal Wedding Street Party, 29 April 2011

Our Royal Wedding Street Party, 29 April 2011

Many thanks to host Adam Tomlinson and all the team at BBC Radio York for inviting me to be part of this historic day.

A shop window display in Bootham, York, on Royal Wedding Day, 29 April 2011

Janette Ray Antiquarian Booksellers' window display in Bootham, York, on Royal Wedding Day, 29 April 2011

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz

First Kindle book – Rhymes of the Times 2010

Maybe you missed my Rhymes of the Times show last Saturday (described by one audience member as ‘Electrifying!’) Maybe you were there but want to savour the poems at your leisure. Well, either way,  Rhymes of the Times 2010 is now available for you to read on Kindle!

No Kindle? No problem! You can also read it on your PC, your iPhone, your Android phone, your Mac, your iPad or your iPod Touch – just by downloading the free software available at Amazon (Click here and scroll down to find the ‘Read books on your computer or other mobile devices’ links on the right-hand side.)

Rhymes of the Times 2010 - Cover

Rhymes of the Times 2010, available now for Kindle

Rhymes of the Times 2010 whisks you through the events of 2010 in lively satirical poems – including some you heard first on Radio 2, Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.

From the British General Election to the football World Cup, from the Icelandic ash cloud to the launch of the iPad, from women bishops to our awful weather – all these and more are included in poems to amuse, provoke and entertain you.

All this for an introductory price of just £4.99. Go on – treat yourself!

Anneliese Emmans Deaninfo@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz

New Year’s Eve on Woman’s Hour

I had the great good fortune to spend New Year’s Eve in Manchester, being interviewed by Jenni Murray on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. During the interview I performed several of my poems, including ‘Madame Honfleur’ (about the Tree bumblebee that recently arrived on our shores) and a new poem specially commissioned by Woman’s Hour for the New Year.

Listen to me on the programme

The BBC's Manchester studios, where I went for my Woman's Hour appearance

The BBC’s Manchester studios, where I went for my Woman’s Hour appearance

I’ve been taken aback by the massive amount of feedback I’ve had from this appearance –  people sending wonderful comments to me by email, tweet and facebook, and ordering my Buzzing! CD and my ‘2009 in Rhyme’ CD. Thank you to all of you who’ve contacted me. It’s great to know I’ve put a smile on so many people’s faces.

2010 has been quite a radio-packed year, one way and another, beginning with a poem for Julia Booth on BBC Radio York in January, and moving on to a commission from the Radio 2 Arts Show for World Poetry Day in March and one from the BBC World Service in October.

So, now we’re into 2011, and I’m looking forward to including some of these poems in the Rhymes of the Times show I’m performing on Saturday 29th January as part York Residents Festival, and the Buzzing! show (that will include ‘Madame Honfleur’) that I’m performing at York Theatre Royal on Saturday 19th March.

Hope to see some of you there! (email me for details)

Meanwhile, Happy New Year  to one and all!

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.bizinfo@theBigBuzz.biz

Ooo – I’m a boo …

Due to popular demand, the BBC has made the poem I wrote for the World Service’s One Planet programme available as a ‘boo’ at audioboo.fm

To hear my poem, ‘My Biodiverse City’, as a boo,  click here.

And to find out more about One Planet and the poem I wrote for them click here.

Tansy beetle in York. Photo © Anneliese Emmans Dean

Tansy beetle in York. Photo © Anneliese Emmans Dean

Anneliese Emmans Dean info@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz

A poem for the BBC World Service

It’s not every day that I get asked to write and perform a poem to be heard by 50 million people around the world. But that’s exactly what happened this week.

The BBC World Service’s flagship environment programme, One Planet, commissioned me to write a poem about the wildlife of my home city, York, here in England. My poem is included in this week’s programme, broadcast to coincide with an important UN biodiversity conference taking place in Japan.

In my poem, ‘My Biodiverse City’, I highlight some of the wildlife wonders that so enrich my life in York – including the stunning Tansy beetle, which is only found along the banks of the river Ouse here.

Tansy beetle in York. Photo © Anneliese Emmans Dean

Tansy beetle in York. Photo © Anneliese Emmans Dean

York is justly famous around the world for its history, but less so for its natural history. It was great to have the opportunity to celebrate some of the wildlife we have here too.

You can hear me performing ‘My Biodiverse City’ at the One Planet page of the BBC’s website (click on the 28.10.10 episode), or as an audioboo here. And there are some photos of mine to accompany the poem at One Planet’s flickr pages.

And if you’d like to find out more about the wildlife of York – in verse – then come along to my award-winning Buzzing! show, which celebrates just that in poetry, music and projected images. I perform versions for adults, for families and for schools.

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.bizinfo@theBigBuzz.biz