BookCrossing and Bird Watchingby wildbooks08
May 6, 2008
BOOKS GO WILD
BookCrossing and Bird Watching
Visitors to the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserves in Norfolk might find a little extra in the bird hides from the end of April through May and June. The New Writing Partnership, a literary development agency in the East of England, has teamed up with the RSPB as part of Norfolk Reads and Writes 2008, Human:Nature, with the aim of bringing together readers and writers to debate hot issues such as climate change and sustainability.
We’ve set up our own BookCrossing bookshelf at wildbooks08 and we’re setting free a fabulous range of books by local, national and internationally known authors such as Mark Cocker and Susan Fletcher. Look out for these in birdwatchers’ hides at RSPB reserves as well as other, more usual BookCrossing locations such as cafes, libraries or bus stations across Norfolk.
Although our Norfolk Reads and Writes programme is now entering its second year, BookCrossing is a new venture for us. I’m sure many BookCrossers will know that Norwich is a recognised international centre of excellence for creative writing, thanks to the world-famous School of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, established by Malcolm Bradbury. But we wanted more, we wanted to give everyone in our scattered, rural communities the same access to great books and their authors as the citizens of Norwich enjoy. Last spring, working with Norfolk’s Library and Information Service, we brought together a series of authors and reading groups around the county to do just that, but this year we wanted to give more people wider access to the books and BookCrossing seemed the perfect solution.
Norfolk Reads and Writes authors for 2008 are Mark Cocker, author of the bestselling Crow Country, the poet, Mimi Khalvati, whose latest collection, The Meanest Flower, blends traditional Arabic forms such as the ghazal with the values of Romanticism, and award winning novelist, Susan Fletcher, whose most recent novel, Oystercatchers, takes much of its inspiration from the bird life of East Anglia. These writers will be meeting readers in libraries round Norfolk, and delivering Creative Writing sessions at RSPB nature reserves (find out more at www.newwritingpartnership.org.uk/worlds) As well as this, copies of all their books and more will be flying around Norfolk in the months to come, so look out for them, read them, and keep them travelling.