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by Adam Strickson

'Now I am a speck – and when I am a speck, I am most myself.'

Wingbeats was an ambitious arts project inspired by the paradoxical question: how can we fly without leaving the ground? The project brought together international and UK artists, school children, university students and residents of the East Riding of Yorkshire to create two operas, performed in Leeds and Bridlington.

Flight Paths (2011) tells the story of a Leeds girl’s journey from Bempton Cliffs to Flamborough on a midsummer’s day, and how it turns her life around. Amy's Last Dive (2012) is inspired by aviatrix Amy Johnson, the girl from Hull who flew around the world, took huge risks and made history.

The project was preserved (and celebrated) in a book from Valley Press, a real first for VP – our first multimedia publication and our first 'drama' publication, rolled into one. As well as the text for both operas, Adam Strickson (lead artist for the project) has compiled a fascinating selection of related material, including detailed creative diaries from the contributors – and every copy comes with two DVDs, so readers can own and watch the shows as they were meant to be experienced.


Adam Strickson is a poet, librettist, scriptwriter and director. For thirteen years he was director of Chol Theatre, the pioneering intercultural company based in Huddersfield, and led projects throughout the north of England and in Bangladesh. He has written plays for Oldham Coliseum, Peshkar Productions and an acclaimed trilogy for Burnley Youth Theatre.

Two collections of his poetry have been published, An Indian Rug Surprised by Snow (Wrecking Ball, 2005) and Tear up the lace (Graft, 2011). He has been Poet in Residence for Ilkley Literature Festival and Schools’ Poet in Residence for Bridlington Poetry Festival. In 2010 he won the Yorkshire Prize in the Yorkshire Open Poetry Competition. He lives in West Yorkshire and is currently Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds.

In December 2012, two of Adam's libretto were published by Valley Press under the title Wingbeats, in a no-expenses-spared package, with a dazzling array of accompanying notes, original poems and both performances on attached DVDs.


Edition: Paperback (with two DVDs)

Date Published: 2012-12-03

ISBN: 9781908853141

Catalogue Number: VP0040

Number of Pages: 180

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

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