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Our Spoken Word and Literature Recommendations

It can be hard to define and categorise many of the spoken word, literature and poetry performances and events at the Fringe; but we’ve tried and here is our coverage.

Spoken word really takes off at the Fringe this year with plenty of poetry, storytelling and a host of talks at the New Town Theatre. On this page we focus on talks, live literature and poetry.

Below are a few early choices…

I want to see…

… warm and funny poetry show about pop-psychology and trying to survive modern life without being an arse. Then see Anxiety and Animal GIFs

… a talk about Edinburgh’s famous son and man of literature who became the world spokesman on spiritualism. Then see Arthur Conan Doyle – The Spiritualist

… a legendary poet. Then see Attila the Stockbroker – Undaunted

… an open-hearted open mic, where you can enjoy features from fantastic spoken word artists and different special guests daily, with a sumptuous cabaret vibe. Then see Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret

…Phill Jupitus bringing his fifth poetry show to Edinburgh with PBH’s Free Fringe. Then see Phill Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Survivalve

… “most-watched poet of all time”. Then see Neil Hilborn – Live Poetry

… some award-winning poetry on the Free Fringe. Then see My Cloth-Eared Heart

… live traditional storytelling in the relaxed surroundings of the Storytelling Court. Then see Cafe Voices

… autistic people speaking for themselves in this ensemble show, written from surveys completed only by Autistic people. Then see Stealth Aspies: Autistic People Speak

… a selection of favourites, old and new, from those (ouch) fifty years of performance poetry, theatre pieces and bittersweet, polemical, comical, in-character monologues by the former National Poet of Scotland. Then see Somethings Old, Somethings New

… award-winning slam style poetry addressing mental health, queer culture and the question of how to belong. Then see Polaris

… some LGBT spoken word. Then see The Naked Dietitian

… poetry and prose… from witty to wistful, outraged to downright angry. Then see Slooshy Wordshow

… stand-up poetry from the Beat Generation. Then see The Glummer Twins

… a unique fusion of art, poetry, projections, music and theatre. Then see Frost and Lorca

… a witty and, at times, poignant collection of poems. Then see Eric Davidson: When John and Yoko Waved Goodbye

… some lunchtime poetry. Then see Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

… an evening filled with the best in Scotland’s literary scene, from poetry to Tartan Noir, contemporary to historic fiction. Then join Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe


Ian Winter talks about A Car Load of Poets Presents Ian Winter and Guests in Twisted Tongue 

What’s the theme of your show?

Spoken Word. bringing different guests every day to perform alongside Ian Winter. creating a new show every day. poigant, visceral, funny, raw social comment.

What’s new or unique about the show

It’s a spoken word show like many others just trying to be as good as possible whilst creating a community of emotion and a cathartic experience.

How did the show come into being?

Ian is a playwright, actor and slam winning poet who set up A Car Load Of Poets to promote spoken word in Hull @acarloadofpoets

Describe one of your rehearsals. Hard work and long walks

How is the show developing? It is growing in performance and material whilst getting great audience response.

How has the writer been involved? Full on

How have you experimented?

Yes, every now and then new work is introduced and young poets given atime on stage.

Where do your ideas come from? Life obsevations and life experience along with working on an original slant.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

By trying to be on the ball with performance and off book/script.

What are your future plans for the show ?

It will go back to Hull and then work with poets from other cities.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

The Anti Slam was fun and Pub Corner poets Sad Little Man is a show not to miss.

Show dates, times and booking info: 5th to 19th 2.40 venue 399 Black Market a great venue the 19th will be a Women of Words show run by Melanie Branton and Grrowl.

Company web site: http://www.ian-winter.co.uk

More details here