Part of EA Festival – A showcase in East Anglia for creative leaders in literature, media, art, environment and music.
Mark Cocker is undoubtedly one of this country’s top naturalists and nature writers. His staggering oeuvre of 13 books and over 1000 newspaper articles bears witness to his decades-long love and fascination with nature, especially birds. That said, it is an honour and a thrill that Mark has chosen to launch his newest book, One Midsummer’s Day, at EA Festival 2023. The culmination of 16 years of thinking and two years of writing, the book is, on its face, about birds. But really, it is a masterful sum-up of all that is interconnected between nature and man – all perceived during a single day of watching swifts.
Speaker: Mark Cocker, Moderator: Joanne Ooi.
Sunday 11th June, 11.05-11.50am
Venue: Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, CO9 3DJ
Box Office: eafestival.com
A multi-award-winning author and naturalist, Mark has published 13 books, among them two epic works about birds, Birds & People and Birds Britannica. He has also written about the history of British environmentalism and extinction of indigenous peoples, not to mention 1000 articles for Britain’s leading broadsheets including a regular Country Diary column in the Guardian since 1988.
Mark is arguably the nature writer most closely associated with and inspired by East Anglia. His forte is illuminating the twin narratives of natural history and cultural anthropology in all of his writings. At EA Festival 2023, Mark will launch his newest book, One Midsummer’s Day.
Released 1st June 2023
It takes a whole universe to make one small black bird.
The bestselling author of Crow Country and writer of the Guardian‘s Country Diary tells the story of all life on Earth through a single day spent in the company of swifts.
‘A jewel of a book’ Caroline Lucas MP
Swifts are among the most extraordinary of all birds. Their migrations span continents and their twelve-week stopover, when they pause to breed in European rooftops, is the very definition of summer. They may nest in our homes but much about their lives passes over our heads. No birds are more wreathed in mystery. Captivated, Mark Cocker sets out to capture their essence.
Over the course of one day in midsummer he devotes himself to his beloved black birds as they spiral overhead. Yet this is also a book about so much more. Swifts are a prism through which Cocker explores the profound interconnections of the whole biosphere.
From the deep-sea thermal vents where life was born to the 15 million degrees at the core of our Sun, he shows that life is a singular and glorious continuum. These birds without borders are a perfect symbol to express the unity of the living planet. But they also illuminate how no creature, least of all ourselves, can be said to be alive in isolation. We are all inextricably connected.
Drawing deeply on science, history, literature and a lifetime of close observation, One Midsummer’s Day is a dazzling and wide-ranging celebration of all life on Earth by one of our greatest nature writers.
‘A nature classic for the new century’ Jim Perrin, author of Snowdon