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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Fizzing at the University of York

I had the honour of being invited by the University of York Disabled Students’ Network to speak as part of their ‘Access Your Future’ event last week.

Their invitation explained the nature of the event as follows:

‘We are inviting speakers who we believe to have interesting and empowering experiences to talk about their journeys and successes. We are looking for our guests to speak or run interactive workshops addressing achievement in the face of adversity.’

It was a great pleasure to meet the attendees, and I’d like to thank them all for making such fabulous real and metaphorical lemonade with me during my workshop.

Making lemonade at the University of York

Making lemonade at the University of York

I trust you found the event as a whole useful – inspiring, even – and I hope most sincerely that you will all succeed in making your futures fizz!

Making lemonade at the University of York

Making lemonade at the University of York

A big ‘thank you’ to Evelyn Kramer of the Disabled Students’ Network for all her excellent organising and administrative work around this event.

Fizzy metaphorical lemonade, as created by members of the Disabled Student Network

Fizzy metaphorical (poetry) lemonade, as created by members of the Disabled Student Network

And congratulations to the DSN committee as a whole on being ‘Highly Commended’ in the recent Love York Awards.

Anneliese Emmans Dean theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life