How to Book a Talk with Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart is a highly sought-after public speaker whose spirited lectures have inspired and entertained audiences at college campuses such as Cornell and the University of Minnesota, corporate offices, including the Google Author Series, conferences and garden shows, as well as botanical gardens, museums, bookstores, and garden clubs nationwide.

You can also watch videos of Amy Stewart discussing her books here.

 

 

To book Amy as a speaker, send an email to publicity@amystewart.com .

And if we can't get together in person? There's another option that is easy and affordable! Go here to find out about arranging a 'virtual' meeting using webcam, videoconference, or telephone.

A special note about events for children: All of Amy's books, and her lectures and events, are aimed at an adult audience. While preteens and teenagers have attended and enjoyed her lectures, they are not geared for a youth audience and small children in particular might simply be uninterested.

Lecture Topics:

The Drunken Botanist

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks
A one-hour lecture with slides in PowerPoint

Author Amy Stewart is back with her fourth New York Times bestseller, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks. Join her for an exploration of the dizzying array of plants that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol. From the sugar cane that gives us Caribbean rum, to the juniper berries that flavor gin, to the odd and obscure fruits that flavor Italian liqueurs, Amy Stewart takes a most intoxicating perspective on the leaves, bark, seeds, roots, flowers, and fruit imbibed around the world. It's the compelling mixture of history, science, literature and humor that Stewart is known for.

The Botany of...Margaritas, Manhattans, Mojitos, or Mint Juleps
A 30-45 minute lecture with slides in Power Point (can run to one hour with questions, but also works as a shorter presentation)

Choose from one of four talks themed around all the plants that go into the making of your favorite drink!  Amy has talks prepared on four specific drinks:  margaritas, Manhattans, mojitos, and mint juleps.  Perfect for groups that can serve drinks with the talk.  Amy will provide the recipe and suggest specific brands for mixing the perfect version of the drink of your choice.

Garden to Glass:  Adventures in Cocktail Gardening
A one-hour lecture with slides in PowerPoint

Edible gardening doesn’t just put food on the table—it puts a drink in your hand, too.  Join Amy Stewart for a talk on designing a cocktail garden that does double duty as a productive space to grow edibles, and a location for your next party. We'll cover the most worthwhile cocktail-friendly plants to grow: Learn which variety of mint flavors authentic Cuban mojitos, discover patio-sized fruits for punches and smashes, and find out why growing your own celery for a Bloody Mary brunch is totally worthwhile.   We'll look at examples of beautifully-designed cocktail gardens and outdoor bars, and innovative ideas for extending the season indoors.  You’ll also learn secrets to mixing great drinks and creating your own botanical infusions.

Infusion & Liqueur-Making Workshop
A one-hour hands-on workshop

Join Drunken Botanist author Amy Stewart for a master class on making infused vodkas and homemade liqueurs.  Participants will get to create their own blend to take home in a sealed jar.  Learn what herbs and fruit work best in infusions and how to blend to get the best results.   (Event organizers:  Please note that Amy is not able to bring materials and ingredients, so you would need to supply everything for this class according to a list Amy provides.)

For all Drunken Botanist events:  Although Amy's events do not include her performing cocktail-making demos or mixing drinks for a crowd, we can provide a list of cocktail recipes that are easy to batch ahead of time and serve during the event.

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Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Join Amy Stewart for a darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the insect world. In this talk based on her New York Times bestseller, you'll meet creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the "bookworms" that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary power of six and eight-legged creatures. It's a mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins--but doesn't end--in your own backyard.

This 45-minute talk is accompanied by dazzling photographs, historical images, copper engravings, and other visuals as illustrations. In addition, Amy may bring actual specimens with her-- but don't worry--they don't bite!

Also: The Wicked Bugs Traveling Exhibit! Go here to find out about booking the exhibit at botanical gardens, science museums, zoos, libraries, and other venues.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities

In her New York Times bestseller Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, Amy Stewart takes on Mother Nature's most appalling creations. It's an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, Stewart presents tales of bloodcurdling botany that will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

Find out which plant killed Abraham Lincoln's mother, which shrub ignited a global war, and what plant has killed 90 million people. From strychnine to castor bean, from poison sumac to monkshood, from carnivorous plants to weeds that spontaneously combust, Stewart introduces an unforgettable cast of characters and tells their tales with her own wicked sense of humor.

This 45-minute talk is accompanied by dazzling photographs, historical images, copper engravings, and other visuals as illustrations.

Botanical gardens and other institutions can go here to find out about hosting a Wicked Plants exhibit.

Flower Confidential — Behind the Scenes and Around the World in the Global Flower Market

A one-hour discussion and slide show.

Amy Stewart traveled around the world to learn more about the extraordinary business of flowers. At laboratories, greenhouses, airports, warehouses, and flower shops, she discovered a remarkable intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce. She told the story in her bestselling book, Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers.

What has been gained, and what has been lost, in the quest for the perfect flower? Does it matter if roses have lost their scent? How do we respond to a lily that has been bred for the convenience of the grower, not the desires of the customer? Are we better off with 209 varieties of daisies to choose from? In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower?

Join Stewart for an exploration of the individuals, the corporations, and the technology dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect flower. You'll never look at a rose the same way again.

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

Join Amy Stewart, author of The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, for an entertaining and in-depth exploration of that tireless ploughman, the earthworm. She'll discuss new book and demonstrate the fine qualities of the inveterate invertebrates that have captured her affections. But earthworms are just one part of soil ecology: Stewart will also bring incredibly detailed photographs, taken with a high-power microscope, of other soil-dwelling microbes that form complex and important relationships with earthworms. She'll explain these interactions and their impact for gardeners and conservationists alike.

You'll get a chance to learn about some of the thousands of species of earthworms that have been identified around the world, including the giant worms of the Pacific Northwest. She'll bring several species of earthworms with her and explain each species' unique role in the soil. Stewart will trace the ancient history of earthworms, describe their travels around the globe, and share some of the many secrets of earthworms' lives that Charles Darwin uncovered. She'll also share photographs and anecdotes about some of the most remarkable worms ever discovered, including a giant Australian worm and an indigo blue worm from the Philippines.

A one-hour discussion and slide show.

Special Topics for Special Audiences: Writing Workshops

A Natural Murder: Using Poisonous Plants and Venomous Bugs To Create the Perfect Crime

A one-hour workshop with slides. Designed as a workshop for mystery writers, but garden clubs and botanical gardens are also encouraged to partner with local mystery writers' groups, mystery bookstores, or mystery book clubs to host a joint event.

Murder mysteries might be called “whodunnits,” but the “how” is every bit as important as the “who.” Mystery writers are always in search of a new way to kill off a character. Is there a poisonous seed that can be baked into a cupcake? A bitter herb that could be slipped into a cocktail? What about a stinging caterpillar with no known antivenin, or a beetle that provides the perfect alibi? The natural world is full of poisons, misleading clues, and dastardly characters.

Based on her sold-out workshop for mystery writers at the Tucson Festival of Books, Amy Stewart has assembled a treasure trove of dreadful poisons and venomous stings from her books Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs. She'll also share true crime stories from the natural world—from a serial killer who used the seeds of a tropical tree on his victims, to the world's most inept murderess, to a new twist on the ever-popular vampire story. It's an unforgettable and wickedly hilarious talk that will appeal to mystery writers and their fans!

Garden and Nature Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Amy also teaches half-day workshops on writing creative nonfiction and on garden and nature writing. Contact her for more information.

Science and Storytelling

Note to program chairs: This talk was developed for groups that requested a talk for scientists or students interested in communicating science topics to a general audience; or for creative nonfiction students.

 

Bestselling author Amy Stewart was a beginning gardener in Santa Cruz when she wrote the gardening memoir From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden. In the last decade her curiosity about the natural world has taken her to earthworm scientists in the Midwest, flower growers in Ecuador, plant breeders in Holland, and poison gardens in England.

Now the award-winning author of five books, Stewart shares unique stories about science, natural history, and horticulture in a way that engages audiences in subjects they never thought they'd be interested in. Find out how she does it in this engaging talk about the art of nonfiction.

Amy’s recent speaking engagements have included:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, UK
Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley, Surrey, UK
The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
Chelsea Physic Garden, London, UK
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC
Google Author Series, Mountainview, CA and Venice, CA
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, CA
Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show, Chicago, IL
California Statewide Master Gardener Conference, Asilomar, CA
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
New York Horticultural Society, New York, NY
University of Minnesota horticultural lecture series, Minneapolis, MN
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Boston, MA
American Horticultural Society, Alexandria, VA
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Missouri Botanic Garden, St. Louis, MO
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles Public Library ‘Aloud’ series, Los Angeles, CA
New England Flower Show, Boston, MA
Cincinnati Flower Show, Cincinnati, OH
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, San Francisco, CA
Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Seattle, WA
Portland Home & Garden Show, Portland, OR
Green Spring Botanical Garden, Fairfax, VA
Wave Hill Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross, CA
Bookstores, botanical gardeners, master gardeners, and garden clubs nationwide