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Spoken Word & Literary

Just words

Our picks from the literary world for the 2019 Buckends tent!

Richard Herring

Richard Herring

Ever reached a certain point in a conversation and realised you have absolutely nothing left to say? Celebrated writer, performer and innovator in the world of podcasts, Richard Herring, certainly has and his new book, Emergency Questions: 1001 conversation-savers for any situation, will ensure readers know exactly how to react in future!

With the aim of ending awkward silences, if not quite ending awkward conversations, for good, Richard will be coming to Deer Shed for the very first time this July to have a (possibly quite awkward) chat about Emergency Questions. In the words of Sarah Milican, “This book is very funny. And a social lifesaver. I'm definitely going to use it for my next awkward conversation with Richard Herring.”

Akala in Conversation

Akala in Conversation

Akala has been at the forefront of British hip hop ever since the release of his debut album, It’s Not a Rumour, twelve years ago. Not content with being just a music icon, Akala is also establishing a reputation as one of Britain’s best critical thinkers and educators.

In 2009, he founded the Hip-hop Shakespeare Company i, aiming to explore the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of Shakespeare and that of modern-day hip-hop. His searing modern polemic and Sunday Times Bestseller, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, covers everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, speaking directly to British squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire.

Drag Queen Story Time

Drag Queen Story Time

Over the years, Deer Shed has always strived to book strong female role models across its whole performance programme. We also believe in the importance of providing role models who challenge the heteronormative environment our society often imposes during early years and beyond.

Drag Queen Story Time is exactly what it sounds like — drag queens reading stories to children in different venues all around the country with their next stop being Baldersby Park this summer! Their aim is to harness the imagination and fun of the gender fluidity of childhood, while giving children glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. By providing spaces in which kids can see and learn from people who defy rigid gender restrictions, DQST allows children to imagine the world in which people can present as they wish. Where dress up is real.

Common People

Common People

Almost half of all authors, writers and translators in the UK come from professional, middle-class backgrounds, compared with just 10 per cent of those from working-class backgrounds.

So where are all the working-class writers? The answer is right here. Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed. Common People is a collection of original essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology. There are seventeen established writers and seventeen new and emerging writers in this anthology, and four of them – Julie Noble, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh and Alex Wheatle – come to Deer Shed this year to challenge the traditionally London-centric, middle class model of publishing, to share their working-class stories, and to reclaim and redefine what it means to be working-class.

Julie Noble

Julie Noble

A mother of five, Julie Noble is a lone parent living on a small council estate in north-east Yorkshire. Brought up in Leeds on the border of Chapeltown, she was the first in her family to go to university. Two weeks before the final exams, she gave birth to her first child, then graduated with honours. While marrying, having four more children, and divorcing, Julie did various jobs including childminding, banking, television work, bookkeeping, and running children’s activity clubs.

Julie is one of the new and emerging writers selected to be published in the Common People anthology; her piece is called ‘Detail’. Her writing has won prizes and appeared in Mslexia, Writing Magazine and She magazine. In 2004, she self-published Talli’s Secret to raise awareness of dyspraxia; her eldest son has the condition.

Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi was born and grew up in Manchester. She has been published in several anthologies including the Seasons nature writing anthology, Three Things I’d Tell My Younger Self, Seaside Special, We Mark Your Memory, and the forthcoming Women on Nature. She has written for publications including the Guardian, the Observer, Granta, Times Literary Supplement and The Pool, and appeared on BBC Radio. She has also been a Writer in Residence in Melbourne, Australia.

Anita will talk about her piece for Common People ‘On Class and the Countryside’, as well as chairing the panel.

Tony Walsh

Tony Walsh

Tony Walsh FRSA, also known as Longfella, is a professional poet, writer, performer and educator based in Manchester. A former Poet in Residence at Glastonbury Festival, his work has been commissioned by the Guardian, the Observer, Channel 4 News, and many more.

After being raised in council housing and dropping out of the University of Salford in the mid-eighties, Tony’s work took him to a sausage factory, an industrial bakery and a Post Office counter, where he was tied up at gunpoint, before an eighteen-year career managing inner-city housing and regeneration projects for local authorities. His poem ‘The Is the Place’ made headlines worldwide when performed at the vigil for victims of the Manchester Arena bomb in May 2017. Tony was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by his former university in 2018. He joins the Common People panel with his contribution to the anthology, ‘Tough’.

Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle

Lemn Sissay said it best: ‘Alex Wheatle is an inspirer. He is a vital writer. He is a prince among men. Long may he reign.’

The Guardian Children’s Book Award-winning Alex Wheatle comes to Deer Shed this year for a very special event with educator and writer Jeffrey Boakye. Alex’s new book for young adults Home Girl is the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the care system. It is a wholly modern story which sheds a much-needed light on what can be an unsettling life – and the consequences that can follow when children are treated like pawns on a family chessboard. Home Girl is fast-paced and funny, tender, tragic and full of courage, and is Alex Wheatle’s most moving and personal novel to date. Alex will also take part in the Common People panel at Deer Shed this year, in which he will talk about his piece ‘Dear Nobody’.

Jeffrey Boakye

Jeffrey Boakye

Writer and educator Jeffrey Boakye recently moved to Yorkshire to set up a new school, Big Picture in Doncaster. Jeffrey’s new book Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored has been billed a ‘must read 2019’ by the Guardian, Financial Times and New Statesman. It takes a panoramic look at global black history, interrogating both contemporary and historical culture, and investigates the ways in which black communities (and individuals) have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated, and othered. Part historical study, part autobiographical musing, part pop culture vivisection, it’s a comprehensive attempt to make sense of blackness from the vantage point of the hilarious and insightful psyche of Jeffrey Boakye.

Jeffrey comes to Deer Shed to talk with Alex Wheatle about black British identity, engaging with young people, and the importance of language.

Sarfraz Manzoor

Sarfraz Manzoor

Twelve years ago, Sarfraz Manzoor wrote a book entitled Greetings from Bury Park: Race. Religion Rock ‘n’ Roll. He was just two years old when his family emigrated from Pakistan to join his father in Bury Park, Luton. His teenage years were a constant battle to reconcile being both British and Muslim. But when his best friend introduced him to the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen which, amid the racial and economic turmoil of 1980s England, changed his life forever.

The book has been adapted for the big screen by Sarfraz, under the title Blinded By The Light . With director Gurinder Chadha - writer and director of the celebrated Bend It Like Beckham - a release date set for 9 August and excellent reviews already rolling in, the film is set to be a big hit. Sarfraz will chat to The Guardian’s Dave Simpson about his life and love of Springsteen, as reflected by his literary work.

Amelia Abraham

Amelia Abraham

Amelia Abraham is a London-based journalist. Her main interest is LGBTQ identity politics, and she has written on or around this topic for The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The New Statesman, VICE, i-D magazine and Dazed & Confused.

She also writes about feminist issues, human-rights issues, health policy, arts and culture, and sex. Combining intrepid journalism with her own personal experience in her new book, Queer Intention: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ + Culture, which she will talk about at Deer Shed 10.

Laurie Nunn

Laurie Nunn

Laurie Nunn is the brilliant screenwriter responsible for the creation of one of the best new TV shows of 2019, Sex Education. The story revolves around a teenage kid named Otis, whose mother is a sex therapist, finding his way in a cliquey school. His mother’s constant psycho-evaluations of her son seem to have made a lasting impression on him, as he discovers an ability to advise his fellow pupils, despite having never actually… done “it”. With a soundtrack provided by Sunday headliner Ezra Furman, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick Laurie’s brain at Deer Shed 10.

The coming of age comedy instantly became a cult hit, not least for its full exploration, development and celebration of the story’s LGBTQ+ characters. Laurie will chat to Amelia Abraham, journalist and author of Queer Intentions…, about the series.

Rob Auton

Rob Auton

York born writer, comedian and two-time actor Rob Auton has ideas, writes them down and says them to audiences at comedy nights, poetry nights and at theatres at night. Rob has been standing up and saying his piece to audiences up, down and across the British Isles since 2008. He has written seven five star-rated Edinburgh fringe shows, so you know he’s good!

The local wordsmith has performed his unique brand of comedy on huge television shows like The Russell Howard Hour and on Rob Delaney’s Stand Up Central, as well as having three collections of writing and illustrations published by Burning Eye books and his poetry turned into short films for broadcast on Channel 4.

Phill Savidge

Phill Savidge

As co-founder and head of public relations company Savage & Best, Phill Savidge has been widely credited as one of the main instigators of the Britpop musical movement that swept the UK in the mid-1990s. He has represented Suede, Pulp, The Verve, Elastica, and almost every band associated with Britpop, whilst having the kind of fun that is now banned by the Proper Job Authorities!

You certainly don’t serve as PR guru to the stars without gaining a more than a few stories to tell along the way and, as well as chatting with The Guardian’s Dave Simpson about his recent memoir, Lunch With The Wild Frontiers: A History of Britpop and Excess in 131/2 Chapters, Phill will be sharing his best stories with lucky Deer Shedders.

Majid Adin

Majid Adin

Iranian visual artist Majid Adin found the inspiration to draw again in the dome in Calais, before winning a global competition to create the official music video for Elton John’s Rocket Man.

Majid skilfully adapted the meaning behind Elton John’s original lyrics to apply to the context of as a refugee’s journey to Europe through his animation, and the results are simply stunning. The animation reflects on subjects of adventure, loneliness and hope through the refugee’s journey and Majid Adin will appear at Deer Shed 10 to discuss his work and his own life experiences.

Music Quiz with Alan Leech

Music Quiz with Alan Leech

Shed Seven drummer Alan Leach hosts a fun interactive music quiz that promises to be equally as enjoyable for teams of casual music loving families as it will for serious music aficionados. On Sunday morning at Deer Shed 10, he will bring his music quiz to the Lodge Stage...

On Sunday evening at Deer Shed 10, he will bring his music quiz to the Lodge Stage to test our audience’s pop music knowledge. Think you know your Bowie from your Blondie? Well, erm, we’d hope you do, but our music quiz with Alan Leach is the perfect opportunity to prove it!

Graham Jones

Graham Jones

Graham Jones, founder of Proper Music Distribution and author of The Vinyl Revival and the Shops That Made It Happen, a guide to independent record shops in the UK that sell new vinyl, has just had his book turned into a film. The true story of his time spent working in and around the world of independent record retailing is every bit as colourful, funny, strange, and occasionally sad as any fictional yarn.

Over the years Graham has collected a vast number of funny stories and anecdotes that have been immortalised in his books, and he will be telling the best of them at Deer Shed 10!

The Vinyl Revival Panel

The Vinyl Revival Panel

After a screening of the film The Vinyl Revival…, Proper Music Distribution founder and writer of the original book Graham Jones will chair a panel discussion with other music industry bods - including Louisa Roach (She Drew The Gun), Karen Emanuel (CEO of Key Productions) and Dave Haslam (Hacienda DJ).

If you, like us, are curious about exactly how the resuscitation of a physical music product like vinyl has taken place in an age dominated by digital and streaming, then this is the panel discussion for you!

The Three Track Podcast Live with Ezra Furman

The Three Track Podcast Live with Ezra Furman

The Three Track Podcast is a podcast by a music nerd, for music nerds. Comedian, writer and host Gabriel Ebulue is the music nerd in question and each episode sees him invite a new guest on to pick their three all-time favourite tracks, from niche B-sides to the biggest chart hits.

We’re delighted to reveal that Gabriel’s special guest at Deer Shed 10 for the live edition of The Three Track Podcast will be Sunday night headliner, Ezra Furman! Together, they will discuss every beat in intricate detail, as well as their general love of music.

Dave Haslam

Dave Haslam

DJ and writer Dave Haslam DJ’d over 450 times at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester during the late 1980s and has since DJ’d worldwide (including shows in Peru, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, and Italy).

Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor; Music, Manchester & More is Dave Haslam’s gloriously well-written memoir of his life and work in some of the most interesting corners of contemporary culture. He documents encounters with inspiring characters, including Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Peel, Mark E Smith, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne, and will come along to Deer Shed in July to speak about his experiences.

Josie and Jonny Are Having a Baby (With You!) Podcast Live

Josie and Jonny Are Having a Baby (With You!) Podcast Live

Josie Long and Jonny Donahoe are two hilarious comedians – Jonny also being one half of Jonny & The Baptists – who decided to begin a podcast when they discovered they were parents-to-be of a real-life human child.

You remember the feeling, right? That sudden gulpmoment after realising you’re close to completely clueless about everything to do with sprogs. Josie and Jonny will bring their humour and genuine curiosity to Deer Shed this July as they continue their search to find actual answers to the questions that arise through their journey as a parenting team.

Kate Fox

Kate Fox

As well as being a journalist and performer, Kate Fox is one of Deer Shed’s favourite poets.

From just up the A168 road from Topcliffe, in Thirsk, Kate has appeared everywhere from BBC1 to Radio 4 with funny, satirical poems about everything from running to politics, perfect bodies to failing to be middle class. You don’t get much more northern than Kate, either – she even has a PhD in Northerness and Performance! As insightful, intelligent and though-provoking as she is entertaining, Kate Fox is also likely to be your new favourite poet by the end of the festival weekend too.

Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard is a writer from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive. They won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981 and has even been a co-editor of Oxford Poetry.

Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including at Aesthetica Film Festival and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively). On top of this, Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row. I’m worn out just writing about their exploits, but Jay’s latest will be a literary talk at Deer Shed 10!

Talkaoke

Talkaoke talk

Takaoke is an art project that has been running for over 20 years. It’s a pop-up talk show that enlivens festivals, galleries and street corners all over, and it’s coming back to Deer Shed for 2019!

We’ll take you on a conversational journey with other Deer Shedders, jumping from one unexpected subject to the next. It can be topical, funny, deep, surreal, or something else. You generate the subjects and it’s the host in the middle’s job to keep everybody entertained and engaged. Talkaoke is a brilliant show, which just gets people chatting freely about different ideas. In truth, you never know whether responses will be silly, serious, funny or even genius – but the ideas are always flowing when people are speaking.

Alex Collier

Alex Collier

Not least with the huge rise of superhero blockbuster films during the twenty first century, comic books are officially cool again.

Join Alex Collier, cartoonist from off Viz Comics and writer of many of your favourite cartoons, from Mr Bean, to Danger Mouse and Dennis and Gnasher: Unleashed, as he spills the secrets behind drawing amazingly brilliant drawings - amazingly brilliantly. If you fancy writing and drawing hilariously silly things for a living, this is the literary talk for you!

Chloe Daykin

Chloe Daykin

An artist, designer, award-winning playwright and teacher, Chloe Daykin lives down a bumpy track by a river in Northumberland with her husband and two boys. Her debut, Fish Boy, won the Northern Writers Award and was published to huge critical acclaim.

As well as inviting Deer Shedders to make their own paperback aquarium book in a special workshop inspired by Fish Boy, Chloe Daykin will also speak about her newest book Fire Girl, Forest Boy - a toe-tingling, heart-tugging and thrilling adventure set in the lush landscape of the Peruvian rainforest.

SHED Talks

SHED Talks

SHED Talks is our slightly tongue-in-cheek take on that popular lecture series, which introduces people to new and unique ways of thinking by listening to pioneers in different fields.

Over the years, Deer Shed has hosted talks from scientists, engineers, philosophers, musicians and more. Among this year’s speakers are music producer Liina Turtonen, A.I. artist Luba Elliott, algoraver Alex McLean and master of modular synthesis Mylar Melodies, with a few more yet to be announced!

Campfire Stories with Grandad/Grandma

Campfire Stories with Grandad/Grandma

We all know the minds of the older generation are full of amazing stories, if you just give them the chance to tell them. Well, in a change from our usual storytellers, we’re launching a competition to find the best story-telling grandparent of any Deer Shedder. If you think your Grandad of Grandma tell the best stories, enter them into our competition to enthral all the other kids at Deer Shed!

Send their story to info@deershedfestival.com – it can be written text, audio/voice recorded, or a video. The winning grandparent will be provided with tickets to Deer Shed to tell the stories of their ages around the campfire in the Wilderwild.

Say Owt Slam

Say Owt Slam

If you’ve never heard of a poetry slam before, here’s a little rundown: a poetry slam is a competition where each poet gets 3 minutes to impress the audience with exciting, raw and dynamic poetry. Say Owt Slam, based in York, take inspiration from these slam contests for their poetry collective’s name.

Led by Henry Raby, one of the most hardworking poets, theatre-makers and playwrights in all North Yorkshire, Say Owt Slam are returning to Deer Shed for a third year on the bounce, to perform impromptu poems for Deer Shedders whilst walking around the festival site.

Sunday Morning Papers

Sunday Morning Papers

When day breaks on Sunday morning at Deer Shed 10, we're betting on there being at least a few weary heads waking in their tents. Worry not: grab a cup of coffee or a hangover-busting juice from Smoothie Mania and relax in front of the Sunday Morning Papers, chaired by everyone’s favourite weekend breakfast radio show host, Nick Ahad, who will be joined by hilarious comedian Alice Fraser, journalist Amelia Abraham and Matt Turner, political commentator and former editor of Evolve.

Our panel will discuss the events that occur in the press over the weekend, so you can stay up to date with goings on beyond the gates of Baldersby Park. Expect breaking news and satirical views to banish those lingering hangover blues.

Aidan Tulloch

Aidan Tulloch

As well as being one of Thirsk’s best young musical prodigies alongside his friend Luke Coupland in local band The Laurelles, Aidan Tulloch is also a skilled poet on the rise in the literary world. His work springs from a rare combination of frank poetry and intimate musicality.

Now based between Yorkshire and Cambridge, where he reads English at Christ's College, his writing is inspired by British folk music, nature, and the world around him. Aidan Tulloch will perform a selection of his own poems for Deer Shedders – your chance to see the future of Yorkshire writers

Paul Jenkins

Paul Jenkins

Everyone experiences an unexpected “Bottom Burp” at some point or another. Grown-ups will tell you they don’t, but we totally know that they do. Even the Prime Minister. Even the Queen (except one of her servants usually does hers for her). The inescapable truth is that they sneak out, sometimes without us even knowing – and that’s something we’ve all got in common. Poet, Paul Jenkins knows this, so insists on talking about it in public. And in rhyme too!

He also talks about other stuff of course; like teachers and the secret things they say behind the staff room door; sparkling knights who ride rainbow unicorns and about how the colour pink is really a tiny little bit like Marmite. (It is, you’ll just have to trust him). 45 minutes of poems with Paul and you will understand just how wobbly words can sometimes be!

Storytellers

Storytellers

In addition to our top picks from the modern literary and spoken word spheres, Deer Shed 10 will also offer a vast range of storytelling events to hold the attention of young people and give parents a little relaxing break from the excitement that the festival inspires.

Notable storytellers include Hoglets and Jenna Durybut there will almost always be a wordsmith on hand to charm listeners in our story shed or many other a quiet area aside from the main festival party. For the Generation XYZ theme, our storytellers will be exploring the classic storytelling canon, taking inspiration from literary lions like Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl.

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