Poetry: Festival-style

August 3, 2010

Tents are are being erected all over the city. Tourists are pooling on the Royal Mile. Techies and roadies are grunting in and out of closes throughout the town, rigging and fitting and preparing. A purple cow has been sighted at Bristo Square… Festival season is nigh upon us!, so now seemed a good time to scour the programmes and posters and flyers for poetry activity for the keen festival goer…

Edinburgh International Book Festival: plenty of poetry events, programmed by Don Paterson with our assistance, including Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Jo Shapcott, Sinead Morrissey and Robin Robertson. For the first time, there’s also Unbound, a mini festival within the festival, 15 nights of stories, music and literary entertainments, showcasing the likes of McSweeney’s, Canongate’s IRREGULAR and the Forest’s Golden Hour. For free!

UTTER!:  from their own website: Utter!’ presents 22 shows with a brand new lineup each night, including firm festival favourites such as John Hegley, Baba Brinkman and Simon Munnery, showcasing many up-and-coming performers hitting the fringe solo for the first time such as Ross Sutherland, Tim Clare, radio 4’s Kate Fox, Tim Turnbull and Helen Mort, and many talented local bards such as Robin Cairns, Anita Govan, Chemical Poets and Jenny Lindsay (of ‘Is This Poetry?’)’ = free, though donations are welcome, and taking place in Banshee Labyrinth (Banqueting Hall) on Niddry Street.

Havers & Blethers: the Captain’s Bar on South College Street has a new owner, has been newly refurbished and has a new spoken word and music night on the Fringe called Havers & Blethers. It’s free to get in, starts at 7.30pm, will feature local talents in ten minute slots and is on every evening from now until Saturday 21st August.

Courtyard readings: the courtyard readings are organised by the School of Poets, a group of writers who meet here at the Scottish Poetry Library on the second Tuesday of each month (not August or December). Beginning on 16th August, and running everyday except Sundays until Saturday 28 August, the Courtyard readings happen on the steps outside the library, weather permitting. If you’d like to perform, simply show up and let the host know. If you’d like to listen, simply turn up and grab a cushion – it’s free.

Poet, performer and northern lass Kate Fox brings Kate Fox News even further north; Hayden Cohen rants like a young fool with ‘two guitars, an exciting vocal style and rhythmic wordplay’ in ‘Rantings of a Young Fool’; founder director of the Scottish Poetry Library and poet Tessa Ransford can be found in performance with others most days in the Chapel at St John’s Church in the West End – check times because they vary; the Scottish Poetry Pamphlet Publishers will be showcasing their wares at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Sunday 15 August, 12 – 4pm.

This is just a taster. What’s your hot ticket? What would you recommend? Do you have a poetry related show that we can help to promote on our web channels? Tell us!

3 Responses to “Poetry: Festival-style”

  1. Check out Poetry at the Forest Cafe, Bristo Place

  2. Texture Says:

    Cheers for the mention!

    Chemical Poets are also playing a hip-hop gig with ASTHMATIC ASTRONAUT at THE WEE RED BAR, supporting 5HIT-HOP NINJA TERMINATORZ, on 12 August, 7pm – 3am. 4 Live bands, DJs, free CDs to give away!

    Details here and on Facebok:




  3. […] …stroked our chins and perused some programmes to bring you a selection of what’s hot poetry-wise this festival season […]

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