Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 6:00 pm (click here to register via Crowdcast)
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Animals don’t exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.
In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.
Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.
By one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.
Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, naturalist and historian of science. Her book H is for Hawk won many prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Costa Book of the Year, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and lives in Suffolk, England.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the New York Times bestselling Worldof Wonders, an illustrated essay collection published by Milkweed Editions in September 2020, as well as of four books of poetry, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the MississippiInstitute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry,the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.