New dogs, old tricks & March’s spoken word listings
Do the old pooches of poetry need to practice new tricks – or are the whelps of spoken word digging up a well-gnawed bone? Resident spoken wordsmith J. A. Sutherland ponders such things – and lists Edinburgh’s spoken word events for March.
I’ll start this month’s entry with a bold statement: Spoken Word is not a brand new phenomenon.
Pre-literate culture used storytelling as a means of communication, mixed with other art-forms, and this tradition continues to inform each renewed interpretation of the practice.
From the Ancient Greeks to the Beat Poets of the fifties; from … Continue reading Wordly wisdom: Ancient and Modern
Percy Poets go out on a Flyte of fancy
Who would win the Edinburgh Flyting 2014 cup? Photo © Johnni Stanton
By Johnni Stanton and Thom Dibdin
Leith’s Percy Poets have had to call it a night after their eponymous pub, the Persevere on Easter Road, turned its lounge over completely to the provision of provender.
No booze, but the Percy Poets won’t lose. The spoken word night has now moved to the Constitution bar where it will continue to operate on the third Wednesday of the month, but under a different – as yet to be decided – name.
Determined to go out on high, the Percy Poets last stanza took on Scottish tradition of flyting, which dates from the 15th century. It is a form of verbal duelling in which … Continue reading Flyte to the finish
Spoken Word Made Manifest
On Tuesday 25th, Talking Heids will be a rainbow of words as it marks LGBT History Month
Resident poet J. A. Sutherland reports back on recent goings-down in the world of Edinburgh’s spoken word events – and keeps us up-to-date with its goings-on in a month short in days, but not in spoken words…
In previous posts I have spoken of poets (Jem Rolls, Anita Govan, and McGuire) who have tried to define spoken word, or performance poetry, with a ‘manifesto’.
I have also said that spoken word, performance poetry, and ‘storytelling’ are manifested in a multitude of forms. There are no rules, no established criteria; no pigeon-holes to perilously place a poet. … Continue reading Wordly Wisdom for a short month
A wise word on coming spoken word events
Performance Poetry Workshop…
Hot of metric foot from pounding that poetry beat, resident poet J.A. Sutherland feels it is wise to keep his powder dry for a strong and erudite post of Wordly Wisdom in February.
After a bumper-week last week, the rest of the month moves into a calmer rhythm. Then again, with the Birthday of The Bard falling on the weekend, there will be plenty of poetry popping up in unexpected places.
So, in the stead of the regular Wordly Wise column, here are selected listings for Edinburgh’s spoken word events up until … Continue reading Spoken word: January listings…
Spoken Word hits the 2014 ground running
Richard Medrington and Elspeth Murray, appearing at Rally & Broad, Friday 17.
New words and new wisdom from poet J. A. Sutherland with a Wordly Wise column inspired by last week’s Accelerator at the The Canons’ Gait.
If there was a word to describe spoken word, it could be pace. I don’t mean ‘speed’ – although ‘rapid-fire’ defines many a poetry-performance. Pace could mean ‘evenly-spaced’ but again, that doesn’t nail it.
If pace is also ‘racy’, plenty of poets fit that description. As performance poet, Jem Rolls says in Is it just me or is the whole world speeding up?: “Even the gradual has gone off the speedo/even the slow is fast compared to the past”.
The Edinburgh spoken word scene hit the ground running this year, starting with Inky Fingers announcing a regular Open Mic slot (to add to my wrapped-up regulars … Continue reading New Year, new Wordly Wisdom
Regular, Irregular and Unruly: In Spoken Word, there are No Rules
Wending his way year end-wards, resident poet J. A. Sutherland is already looking to the next – and the regular spoken word spots worth marking in your diary. But first, here’s glory for you…
It is my pleasure to announce that, in the heady world of open mic events in Edinburgh, of those ‘sphere-born harmonious sisters, voice and verse,’ the latter has scored a victory!
I’m not suggesting there is aggressive competition between that blest pair of sirens, music and poetry: far from it. Nevertheless, after six weeks of … Continue reading Wordly Wise – wrapped-up regulars
Where can (Wordly) Wisdom be Found?
End-of-year round-up? Not for J. A. Sutherland. Well not yet: There were too many precious gems around last week – and more coming up in this one too. Maybe he will put a lid on the poetry jewellery box next week. But for now, this is where the wisdom is.
According to the Book of Job: wisdom “cannot be gotten for gold; neither shall silver be weighed’. Attending literature events certainly solicits the silver from my pockets, not least because so many are held in pubs, clubs, cafés and bars.
The same Biblical passage says: ‘No mention shall be made of … Continue reading Wordly Wise: Lacking Wisdom
Lost for Words?
After a bumper week of poetry and spoken word events, resident poet J. A. Sutherland is almost lost for words to sum it all up. Almost but not quite. And he’s still got time to make some recommendations for the week ahead.
You can always rely on poets to come up with a good pun – or perhaps the poet would prefer to say, a play on words. On Saturday evening, Inky Fingers hosted the Porty Bellow – a fine pun, and a fun evening too.
In a room in the Dalriada pub on the prom, a mix of local poets, Edinburgh stalwarts, first-time performers and three feature-poets (including London’s Salena Godden, who featured at … Continue reading Wordly Wise – A Bellow of Poets
Poetry Clashes, Slams, and Death Matches
Talk about busy, Edinburgh’s poets and performance wordsmiths have a somewhat full card this week. Resident poet J. A. Sutherland picks through the offerings – and looks back at last week’s.
It is inevitable that, with so much activity on the spoken word scene in Edinburgh, one is spoilt for choice. Last weekend there were multiple clashes on several evenings, some of which popped up unexpectedly.
Given that we were in Book Week Scotland, words were to be expected, spoken or otherwise. At Summerhall, another new zine was launched by Dactyl, with the usual combination of … Continue reading Wordly Wisdom: Multum in Parvo!
Spoken Word – the Final Frontiers
There are more than a few spoken word events on offer during Book Week Scotland. Resident poet J. A. Sutherland checks some out and finds the odd hangover from the weekend’s Dr Who celebrations.
You never know what to expect with poetry, prose, or spoken word; whether recited, performed or presented. It can crop up anywhere, creep up on you, and comprise many diverse, different forms.
Anyone who has experienced poet Kevin Cadwallender perform his Dalek-poems will know that spoken word can be far-from staid. With his rasping stentorian delivery, it’s wise not to sit in the front row of the audience. It’s inevitable, then, that Monday’s Doctor Who Open Mic Night at the Blind Poet will feature … Continue reading Wordly Wise in Book Week Scotland