Dear friends of Deer Shed Dave Simpson & Katherine Stanton have this year put together a delicious selection of Spoken Word and Literary delights for you!
Article 50 has been triggered. Brexit is happening. Whether we
like it or not, we need a plan. Luckily enough, we know just the
Over the years as a columnist writing at The Independent and
now The Guardian, Owen Jones has become a household name. His
life's work to date has been dedicated to exposing and
challenging social injustices, lifting the lid on impoverished
conditions that no one in our country should be subjected to, and
challenging politicians through eye-opening investigative
Owen's books to date – Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working
Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It – have
been widely critically acclaimed, whilst enlightening many people
on a number of largely unexplored issues. He will be appearing
at #DeerShed8 to continue his empowerment of the people and
spread the good word!
Tim Dowling's forthcoming book Dad, You Suck examines the
banalities and rigours of family life and fatherhood with his
usual self-deprecating humour and dry wit. Are fathers there to
consistently lead by example like a shining knight in armour, or
do we have a duty to teach our children it is perfectly normal
that "self-esteem comes and goes – it can get rolled right out of
you at short notice?"
Hailed as the inventor of a whole new genre of literature –
the self-hinder book, as opposed to the self-help book –
Tim's writing reflects the internal conflict that the majority of
us experience at those important moments in life where we are
forced to lead and take control, even if we do not feel entirely
capable or adequate.
Tim's story will no doubt resonate with Deer Shed parents, and we are over the moon that he will be returning to the festival to share it with them in person.
Stuart Heritage's Don't Be a Dick Pete is a portrait of modern
masculinity in crisis told through a series of hilarious
anecdotes and vignettes on family life. It's a thoughtful
reflection on the complexity of fraternal dynamics and an
affectionate study of how families work, through the
characterisation of two brothers, Stuart himself and the younger
The author returns to his hometown to discover
that Pete has taken his place as the thoughtful, kind and
hardworking brother. Practical and resourceful where Stu is not,
Pete has become a shoulder to lean on and is now undoubtedly the
better son. All at once Pete and Stu must re-evaluate their
relationship. It should be easy, but it isn't. Because, well ...
Pete's a dick.
At #DeerShed8 celebrated Guardian journalists Stuart Heritage
and Tim Dowling will discuss their books, released this
spring, and entertain us with their thoughts on being a dad,
being a sibling, and family life in general.
With The Wilderwild set to reconnect Deer Shedders with nature, Amy Liptrot's book – The Outrun –
is just what we all need.
The Outrun is Amy's award winning story of addiction,
and the healing power of nature. Upon entering adult life, Amy had moved to
London and, unable to control her drinking, alcohol gradually
took over. Now thirty, she finds herself washed up back home on Orkney, standing unstable at the cliff edge, trying to come to terms with what happened to her in London. Spending early mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, the days tracking Orkney's wildlife, and nights searching the sky for the Merry Dancers, Amy slowly makes the journey towards recovery from addiction.
A beautiful, inspiring book about living on the edge, the pull
between island and city, and about the natural world renewing
life and hope, Liptrot’s experiences in The Outrun will remind
you of the restorative power of the great outdoors
From The Beatles to Bowie, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust with Woody Woodmansey and Ken Scott
Ken Scott has worked with countless major pop artists, but is
best known as Beatles engineer and producer of no less than five
classic David Bowie albums. Woody Woodmansey, meanwhile, is the
Yorkshireman drummer from humble Driffield who boarded Bowie’s
spaceship and became a Spider From Mars.
This unique event reunites them both. Ken will be talking
about his new book Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust and Woody will
wow Deer Shedders with tales from and not from his recent
autobiography, Spider From Mars, before a joint audience Q&A.
If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the
studio with Beatles or share a bus with Ziggy Stardust, this is a
very special chance to find out.
Having supported the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson and even
#DeerShed8 music headliner Kate Tempest, Vanessa Kisuule stands as one of
the best spoken word performers in the UK. She has won a multitude
of SLAM awards and competitions, and has even represented the UK in two
European Slam Championships.
Vanessa writes plays, one-woman shows, and performs regularly at
festivals, with #DeerShed8 becoming her next stop.
Her debut poetry
collection Joyriding The Storm was published in April 2014,
which features poems revolving around themes of family and ethnic
identity, presented through a masterful command of rhyme,
assonance, meter and rhythm.
Rob Cowen's Common Ground received high praise from literary
giant Alan Bennett, who said, "Having finished it, I now feel
deprived." This poetic and genre-defying story of a
difficult-to-define edge-land on the outskirts of Harrogate
explores both the natural wonders and historical layers of this
marginal landscape, and Cowen's own personal journey to find a
sense of belonging.
One night after moving from London, he finds a pylon-slung
edge-land, a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river on the
outskirts of town. Despite being in the shadow of thousands of
houses, it feels unclaimed, forgotten, caught between worlds, and
all the more magical for it.
Harrogate is a town close to the
hearts of many Deer Shedders, and this unique portrait of a stretch of land between
town and country offers an enthralling new way of writing about nature and our experiences within it, and gives us magic in our everyday.
Anthony Clavane spent 18 years as a national sports writer
covering World Cups and Olympics and has had three plays
performed in Yorkshire. His first book, Promised Land, won sports
book of the year in 2011.
His new book, A Yorkshire Tragedy, examines the divisive legacy
of 1980s mainstream, neoliberal politics on sport in Yorkshire. It
was chosen as one of The Guardian's sports book of 2016, who
branded it "A tender and often terrifying tour of some of
Yorkshire's – and England's – most cherished sporting institutions".
Despite its concentration on northern sport, A Yorkshire
Tragedy isn't only for sports fans: Clavane's skill as a
wordsmith means he is able to expertly track how the
deindustrialisation of the '80s fuelled Brexit, and we are
delighted to be able to present a book at #DeerShed8 which has
sparked such an important discussion.
Kate Pankhurst is originally from Liverpool, but has since immigrated
to the Deer Shed Festival's homeland of Yorkshire. She has illustrated for
a range of brilliant authors and had her debut series as both a writer and
illustrator – Mariella Mystery Investigates – published. In addition to
this, she regularly runs sessions in primary and secondary schools linked
to illustration and writing and as part of Creatives, a company
specialising in high quality arts experiences for children and young
For young people, we really cannot recommend Kate's latest book of
illustrations, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, enough.
And we're certainly not alone: Russell Brand chose Kate's inspirational
book to read to his daughter on this year's International Women's Day.
Including Rosa Parks and Jane Austen, the book illustrates some of the
bravest and most inspiring women from history, teaching young girls and
boys about the importance of female empowerment.
Dominic Berry - aka Dommy B to his younger audiences - is an
internationally award winning performance poet. He works with
children and adults and has toured his verse across USA, Canada,
India, New Zealand, Australia and Europe .
Dommy B has performed his comedy verse on BBC’s Rhyme Rocket and
has nationally toured his self-penned solo shows Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
Dinosaurs! (2016 and 2017), The Dragon Who Hates Poetry (2013,
2015 and 2017, funded by Big Imaginations and Grants for the Arts)
Spark, The Goblin Wizard (2014, 2017, funded by Hamilton Project)
and When Trolls Try To Eat Your Goldfish (2014 and 2015, funded by
Action Transport Theatre, Big Imaginations and GftA).
Full of energy, jokes and action, these performances have
enjoyed full capacity crowds from London to Glasgow and have
resulted in Manchester’s Flapjack Press publishing the tie-in book
to accompany each story.
Sunday Morning Papers with Kate Fox
When day breaks on Sunday morning at #DeerShed8, we're betting
on there being at least a few weary heads waking in their tents.
Worry not: you can always grab a strong cup of coffee
(shameless plug for our quality coffee vendors) and relax in
front of the Sunday Morning Papers, presented by comedian and
Deer Shed favourite, Kate Fox.
A panel will discuss the events that occur over the weekend so
you can stay up to date with current affairs even if you've
completely immersed yourself in the wonders of The Wilderwild.
Expect breaking news and satirical views to banish the lingering
Aware that "poetry isn't a proper job", Rowan McCabe decided to
create a new profession, becoming the world's first Door-to-Door
Poet. He asks strangers what is important to them, goes away and
writes a poem about it, and brings it back to on their doorstep.
He aims to prove how accessible poetry can be and that strangers
really aren't as scary as they seem.
Dismissed by other poets as impossible, Rowan began the
project during October 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Ignoring
advice from local police, he then visited the Byker Wall, an area
synonymous with crime and violence, before touring the project
around the North East with Arts Council funding.
Rowan also performs on stages as well as doorsteps, from the
Edinburgh Fringe to the Royal Albert Hall. He was the winner of
the 2015 Great Northern Slam and his work has been featured on
Radio 4, Radio 5 live and BBC Breakfast. Read all about Rowan's poetic
door-stepping experiences in his blog.
Paul Cookson is a children's entertainer who has written over
sixty books - most of them funny and all of them with poems in.
Paul is on the shows line-up this year heading to #DeerShed8 to
present his popular show Family Twist which underlines the
importance of friendship and fun to children and families.
We're so glad to say that Paul – author of the popular 100
Poems for Children – will also be performing a collection of his
best loved poems on our literary line-up!
Poetry can often be overlooked as a form that can spark the
artistic passions of young people, and if anyone can help to
change this to make poetry more accessible, it is Paul Cookson.
Say Owt Slam
A poetry slam is a competition where each poet gets 3 minutes to
impress the audience with exciting, raw and dynamic poetry. Never
one to stick to a rulebook though, York's Say Owt Slam is hitting
Deer Shed Festival with a new idea. Specifically, they need your
The slam poetry collective will be bring a wad of poets to wander
the wild of the Festival. Tell them your ideas for poems, some of
the things that have inspired you, something you've seen at
#DeerShed8, or a most random challenge, and they will turn them
into slam-winning, high-scoring poems (judged by you)!
Aware that any one of the many young people who attend Deer
Shed Festival could possess the potential to surpass Plato or
outshine Aristotle, we felt it important to promote any inkling
of philosophical intrigue at Baldersby Park.
#DeerShed8, in collaboration with Thinking Space, will
therefore host Shed Talks: Philosophical stimulation and
conversation for thinkers aged 11 – 111. This will consist of
a rotation of three philosophy speakers giving thought-provoking
eight-minute talks, followed by a series of quick-fire audience
participation activities designed to get small groups talking and
thinking about what they've heard. Key ideas from these short
discussions will then be fed back to the Thinking Space
practitioners who will hold an informal Q&A, led by a compere.
Thinking Space will create something of an ancient Greek
debate chamber at this year’s festival to encourage critical
thought and engagement with both age old and modern day issues.
Come along and step into The Wilderwild with Pip Theatre's
wondrous story telling time.
Pip Theatre is an innovative arts organisation sowing the
seeds within the community to create, educate and connect. This
year at the Deer Shed Festival, They will be offering a
fun and adventurous take on your usual storytelling workshops.
From silly stories, to exploring the unknown, you can expect to
get creative and come on a journey with the team from Pip into The
Wilderwild. All ages welcome, get ready to join in and take a few risks!
Mud Pie presents Where The Wild Things Are
Mud Pie Arts specialise in multi-sensory story making with
young children. They work extensively in Yorkshire schools, early
year settings, libraries and festivals. They empower children to
find their voice, stretch their imagination and discover a wide
world through story and play. This year they are hitting
Ever feel like howling? Put on your wolf suits with Max and
explore your wild side. Discover what can be done with all those
angry feelings! Mud Pie Arts presents Where The Wild Things Are,
an interactive drama session adapted from the 1963 children's
picture book – and later a hit box office film – by American
writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak.
A Thoughtful Place To Be's Bedtime Yurt
We know there's nothing quite like a bedtime story to ease you
into a lovely night’s sleep.
A Thoughtful Place To Be will bring their bedtime yurt to
#DeerShed8. Their stories will be themed around processing and
reflecting on the day, taking time to share with each other,
creating stories to celebrate our imaginations, and creating a
safe and warm end to the day.
The bedtime yurt will be decorated beautifully so that you can
relax, snuggle up with family and friends, and drift into
dreamland accompanied by the dulcet words of A Thoughtful Place
In addition to our top picks from the modern literary and
spoken word spheres, #DeerShed8 will also offer a vast range of
storytelling events to hold the attention of young people and to ~
give parents a little relaxing break from the excitement that the
Notable story tellers include Lorna Mallet, HOGLETS and Jenna
Drury, but there will almost always be a wordsmith on hand to
charm listeners in an area aside from the main festival party.