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

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

World Poetry Day thrill

Today is not only the first day of Spring, it’s also World Poetry Day. What a great combination!

To mark the beginning of Spring, we had a visit from a Queen Buff-tailed bumblebee, who spent much time in our garden sunbathing, preening and looking for a suitable nest site, as you can hear here:

To mark World Poetry Day, I was invited to discuss poetry on the Radio 2 Arts Show with presenter Eve Pollard and – what a thrill! – the most marvellous Roger McGough.

The Arts Show also commissioned me to write a poem for the occasion, ‘And the winner is …’, which I read live on air. You can read my poem here:

and listen to the poem here:

World Poetry Day is a UNESCO initiative, and the poets they are promoting particularly this year are the Indian Tagore, the Chilean Neruda and Césaire from Martinique.

If you’d like to find out more about any of these poets, then I think a good place to start is with Neruda’s ‘Arte de Pajaros’ (Art of Birds). If your Spanish isn’t tip-top, then try the bilingual edition published by Lynx which has beautiful colour illustrations.

Now that Spring has sprung, the birds in our garden are starting to sing gloriously. Enjoy the poetry of the birdsong where you are!

Anneliese Emmans

Poetry on BBC Radio York

For my first paper review of the year on Julia Booth’s Saturday Breakfast Show on BBC Radio York, I took along a little poem I’d written specially for Julia. You can hear it here:

Anneliese Emmans

Musical superstars at Sutton Bank

Well, I don’t think many of the people who braved the elements today to come to Sutton Bank Visitor Centre in the glorious North York Moors were expecting to become world musical superstars today. But that’s exactly what happened!

Radio York’s own Jonathan Cowap was at the ‘My Awesome Planet’ event being held at Sutton Bank, where I was teaching ‘Compost! The (mini-)Musical‘ to any of the visitors who fancied taking part.

The children, mums, dads and grandmas who volunteered learned the complete musical in a mere 30 minutes. And then they performed it!

Their audience consisted not only of visitors to Sutton Bank, but also, thanks to the presence of Radio York, the whole of the rest of the world …

‘Even Africa?’ asked one participant. Yes, thanks to the internet, even people in Africa could hear these wonderful performers!

‘They look like they’re having a fantastic time!’ said Jonathan Cowap.

Thank you to everyone at the Visitor Centre for welcoming us so warmly. And to Jonathan Cowap from Radio York for coming and listening to us. To Sally Ann Smith for organising the My Awesome Planet event. And most of all to the fantastically talented performers.

Think global! Compost local! Now!

At the 'My Awesome Planet' event at Sutton Bank, North York Moors

At the 'My Awesome Planet' event at Sutton Bank, North York Moors

Fancy putting on Compost! The (mini-)Musical yourself? Find out more about the Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack with Resource CD here.

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BBC Radio York ‘Compost!’ interview

To mark Compost Awareness Week 2008, Dougie Weake from BBC Radio York came and interviewed me and Mrs Finn’s Year 4 Class at Archbishop of York’s Junior School yesterday. (Find out more.) Our ‘Compost Awareness Week’ interview was aired on Radio York today – followed by an interview with Charlie Dimmock.

Listen to our Radio York interview

Find out more about ‘Compost! The (mini-)Musical’

Radio York interview, 6 May 2008

email me for more info.