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Saturday 18th November, 2023
Kendal Town Hall - Chambers - Kendal Town Hall
12:15pm (GMT+0:00) Europe/London (Greenwich Mean Time)
Run time: 1 hour

Event Details

Join us for this thought provoking conversation and a new feminist perspective on birdwatching. 

What is the difference between a birder, a bird watcher and a twitcher? Why do male birds always appear above female birds in classification guides? What is ‘birdsplaining’? And what about the colonial origins of ornithology?

Join award-winning author Jasmine Donahaye on stage to explore birds, the history and politics of field guides, women’s particular experience of the natural world, and the meanings we borrow from animals.

Jasmine is in pursuit of understanding nature on her own terms and undoing old lessons about how to behave. Roaming across Wales, Scotland and California, she is unapologetically focused on the uniqueness of women's experiences of birdwatching and the constraints placed upon them.

Jasmine’s book Birdsplaining: A Natural History will be available to purchase at the Festival book store over the Festival weekend.

There will be a book signing straight after the event.

Published by New Welsh Review.


“Superb… by turns moving, funny, illuminating… and… thought-provoking” - Katherine Stansfield

“Jasmine Donahaye is the thinking person's birder. She forensically dismantles romantic cliches in nature writing and produces a fresh, modern account of her life in and out of nature.” – Gwyneth Lewis

“This is a beautiful collection where the nonhuman appears as a close neighbour.... [and which] searches for hope and resilience in times of risk.” - Yvonne Reddick, New Welsh Reader

“In fracturing, polarised times we need writing like this, that has the breadth and honesty to grasp it whole.” - Philip Gross

About Jasmine Donahaye:

Jasmine Donahaye worked in the publishing sector before joining the English Department at Swansea University, where she is now a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. She was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2017. Her previous books include a biography of Welsh-Jewish author Lily Tobias, The Greatest Need; a monograph, Whose People? Wales, Israel, Palestine; and two poetry collections – Self-Portrait as Ruth and Misappropriations. Jasmine's memoir Losing Israel won the non-fiction category of Wales Book of the Year.