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The Bird Room by Dawn Gorman

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Dawn Gorman sometimes wonders if she wasn’t born, but hatched. Her cot, then childhood bed, were positioned in a small corner of her ornithologist father’s study, known as ‘the bird room’: the epicentre of his lifelong obsession with birdwatching. But in spite of being immersed in this world of birds, Dawn resisted their appeal, and it was only when her father began his slow decline towards his death in 2020 that she started to hear them calling her. Too late to ‘go birding’ with him, this pamphlet has offered her a different way to collaborate with her father about those things of feather, flight and song – albeit posthumously on his part. Here she brings together some of the bird photographs he took during her childhood in the 1960s and a selection of her poems, to explore the impact of his birdwatching on her, on their relationship with each other, and on her own attitude to birds. Ultimately, though, this collaboration has at its heart not birds, but that other looked-for thing, love.

Hedgehog Press

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