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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Literary Limerick No. 3

Today’s literary limerick was inspired by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen’s visit to York Festival of Ideas yesterday. He was talking about his new book on Zola. The novel in today’s literary limerick isn’t a Zola novel, but it is a French novel that Michael Rosen knows well.

How do I know he knows it? Because it was my parents who taught it to him when he was doing A-level French at school, and they were his teachers.

Here’s the limerick. Can you guess the novel?

In a comment to this blog some years back, Michael Rosen said that studying this book and ‘La Symphonie Pastorale’ with them was: ‘Some of the best education I ever had’.

Stop press: The limerick got the Michael Rosen seal of approval on Twitter!

Here is Michael Rosen with my mum, after yesterday’s York Festival of Ideas event. During the event, he let the audience know she was there, and they gave her a round of applause!

Michael Rosen with his former French teacher, my Mum.

Michael Rosen at York Festival of Ideas with his former French teacher, my Mum.

It’s good to know, when you’re 85, that your former pupils remember you, and that you made a difference to their lives.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got the literary limerick bug, check out my literary limerick page. Can you name the books featured there?

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life