This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Monday 7 June 2021, 5pm to 5.30pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Ideas can inspire, bring hope, and change and enrich our lives.

Why not join us as we celebrate ten years of York Festival of Ideas with the help of some of our incredible speakers from the past decade.

Our special anniversary launch event features a reading of A Song of Gladness by acclaimed children’s author Michael Morpurgo, accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Emily Gravett. From a blackbird in a Devon garden to leopards in the African savanna, A Song of Gladness reminds us all of our connection with nature, and with each other, and the urgent need for us to join together in caring for the planet and every creature in it.

Discover what idea inspired this story, and where other well-known Festival speakers have found their inspiration.

What idea will inspire you?

The Jane Moody in Memoriam Event

This event is supported by the Shepherd Group


This is a YouTube Premiere event. You’ll be sent a link to the screening a couple of days before it takes place, as well as a reminder an hour before.

Please note: A Song of Gladness will only be available to Watch Again until Sunday 20 June.

Image credit: (c) From A Song of Gladness by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Two Hoots, 2021


Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner.  In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.   

About the speaker

Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers. He was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005 and has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse.  War Horse was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book Private Peaceful was adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and made into a film, directed by Pat O'Connor. He was awarded the OBE for his writing in 2006


Shepherd Group logo University of York logo