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WE ARE LOUD POETS

 

Loud Poets was launched in 2014 with the aim of making poetry something that could be enjoyed by the masses. 
They are now a collective of poets, writers, musicians and artists who create monthly nights, Fringe shows, commissions, workshop and videos.

This is slam-­style, make some noise, fist­-thumping, pint-drinking, side-­tickling, heart­-wrenching poetry. 
This is poetry for the masses.

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Mclean

Kevin Mclean is a Loud Poet and Spoken Word artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2014 Kevin was a finalist at the BBC Fringe Slam and won the 2015 Glasgow Slam Championship and  the 2017 StAnza Slam Championship. He competed in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Scottish National Slam Championships and  captained Team Edinburgh at the 2015 Intercity Slam. His poem “Evelyn,” performed at the 2015 Loud Poets Edinburgh Fringe show, won StAnza's Best Poem of the Fringe. Beyond slams and organising regular Loud Poets events, he has been featured at the Wickerman Festival; StAnza – Scotland’s Poetry Festival; the Brighton, Edinburgh, and Prague Fringes festivals; Leicester's Find The Right Words; STV's The Late Show; BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Show; and many regular spoken word nights throughout Scotland.  He has also performed alongside some of the worlds top spoken word artists; Shane Koyczan, Neil Hilborn, Hollie McNish, Mark Grist, and more.

 

Alias: Big Red

 

Doug Garry

Doug Garry is another core founder of Loud Poets. He is also an up-and-coming young voice in the Scottish spoken word scene. He was captain of the winning 2014 Edinburgh University UniSlam team, is representing Edinburgh at the AntiSlam and a winner of the Edinburgh University Literature Society Slam. He was also a part of the 2016 winning UniSlam team, and went on to be part of the first international team at CUPSI in Texas. In 2016, he supported three time world slam champion, internationally acclaimed poet Buddy Wakefield as part of his worldwide tour. As well as being a regular and recognised performer across Glasgow and Edinburgh, he has also released his collection of poems in both CD and paper form, in his "Poems" and "30 Night Sketches". 

 

Alias: Dark Horse

 

Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson entered the Scottish spoken word scene in September 2014 and since then she has become the current Glasgow student slam champion. Outside of Loud Poets she  also runs Soapbox: the University of Edinburgh's biweekly open mic in the heart of Edinburgh and spent a year running the most regular poetry slam in Scotland as president of the University of Edinburgh's Literature Society. In 2015 her work won the Vaclav Havel scholarship for poetry from the Anglo American University in Prague and has since been featured twice on the TEDx stage. Her poem "Facts" became BBC Radio Scotland's most viral online video in March 2016. In April she helped lead and organise the first non-American international team to CUPSI in Austin, Texas after she was part of the winning team at the national competition UniSlam.

 

Alias: C-Dubz

 

Katie Ailes

Katie Ailes is a poet and scholar currently pursuing her PhD in English at the University of Strathclyde. Her research focuses on the performance of authentic selfhood in contemporary U.K. spoken word poetry. An active spoken word artist, Katie placed second in the 2015 Scottish National Poetry Slam and has performed across the U.K., including at StAnza, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Rally & Broad, and St. Mungo’s Mirrorball. She organises, composes, and performs with the spoken word collective Loud Poets, including touring with them to the Brighton, Prague, and Edinburgh festivals. She previously co-edited Quotidian literary magazine and is currently co-piloting the Scottish Poetry Library Ambassadors programme. She co-organised the Poetic Politics conference at the NLS (Sep. 2015) and co-edited the anthology Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry (Luath Press, 2016). She released her first collection, Homing, in 2015, and was published in the House of Three anthology series in 2016. Katie was mentored by Liz Lochhead through the 2015-16 Clydebuilt programme.

 

Alias: Cakes n' Ales

 

FIONA LIDDELL

Fiona Liddell is a violinist, singer and composer based in Edinburgh. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier with a BA Hons in Popular Music, she has performed with a colourful array of musical projects. Currently, she leads one of Scotland's most sought after wedding bands gigging up and down the country every week. She also cofounded the eclectic folk band, Ekobirds, in 2011 with pianist and guitarist Sam Thorne and performs with singer songwriter Jack Hinks in his eponymous rock band Hinks. She first performed with Loud Poets during their first run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014. In the years that followed, she has worked with dozens of different poets and musicians with the common goal of combining music with spoken word to create something greater than either.

 

Alias: Liddell!

 

SAM THORNE

Sam has spent twenty years sitting behind various pianos bashing out a variety of tunes with very varying results. After moving to Edinburgh in Autumn 2009, he began playing in any establishment that would admit him, beginning as a solo artist before going on to found the Ekobirds with the vivacious violin-playing vocalist, Fiona Liddell. In 2013, Sam graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a Bachelor of Arts in Popular Music, before immediately deciding to pause his music career to instead follow his pursuits as an actor. His relentless endeavour to perform eventually brought him into contact with the Loud Poets, where he swiftly established himself as a keen pianist and occasional aspiring poet, beginning his partnership with the spoken wordsmiths at their first birthday show in February 2015. Since then he has composed music for a multitudes of poets, and looks forward to writing and performing with the collective for years to come.

 

Alias: Thornicator

 

ALISTAIR MACKEY

Alistair is a poet and a presenter based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The newest addition to the Loud Poets team and yet the oldest, he has an extensive background in performance. Graduating in 2007 with a Modern Drama Studies degree from Brunel University, Alistair immediately turned his hand to working professionally in musical theatre, voiceover work, singing and game/award show hosting. After working abroad for a number of years, Alistair relocated to Edinburgh in 2013, working in sketch comedy, historical theatre and joining the thriving spoken word community. It was here he joined the Loud Poets, after competing in the 2016 Scottish National Poetry Championship. Also a qualified scuba diver and first aider, despite all his above experience and qualifications, the Loud Poets use him as their cajon player...

 

Alias: Ali Mac

 

JACK HINKS

Jack Hinks is a professional singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso. From recording, composing, and teaching, to promoting and touring, Jack does it all. Beyond that he plays in many projects: EkobirdsHinks, Coldsville, and Something Borrowed. Releasing his first single and b side at the age of 16, Jack has continued to expand his music and reach in the Scottish music scene, now playing across the UK and internationally. Jack is currently endorsed by Faith Guitars, and his EPs "Faith in Your Hands", "The Boy in the Background" and "Shock to the System" are available on Spotify.

 

Alias: Jinx

 

PERRY JONSSON

Perry Jonsson is Loud Poets' resident visual artist. A professional photographer & cinematographer by trade, Perry has been an avid supporter of the Scottish spoken word scene for the past 3 years. Beyond his work for Loud Poets, Perry has done freelance work for institutions such as BBC Scotland, Edinburgh University, and YWCA Scotland. Furthermore through his job as a full-time cinematographer/editor at Leith based creative ad agency Campfire, Perry has worked with clients such as Visit Scotland, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and Martell Cognac.

 

Alias: Per-Bear

Fringe 2017

 

This summer Loud Poets bring a brand-new show to the Edinburgh Fringe for their fourth consecutive year, and it's a big one. In today's climate of runaway commercialism and a constant barrage of advertising, Loud Poets asks: what's the role of poetry? And what exactly are poets selling you? Drawing on their diverse backgrounds in theatre, dance, music and more, the poets perform a variety of original solo and multi-voice pieces showcasing the best spoken word has to offer. The poets are accompanied by live music from Scottish band Ekobirds, plus visuals and film titles from cinematographer Perry Jonsson.

 
 

Reviews

 

praise of our monthly nights

If you want your poetry nights to have the hushed and genteel air of a village library, you better give Loud Poets a wide berth [...] Loud by name, and louder by nature, the Loud Poets strive to create environments that permit a healthy degree of reaction from their audience, turning up their own volume to encourage their guests to do the same.
— Bare Fiction
If you haven’t heard of The Loud Poets you’ve got to check them out. They’re a collection of incredible artists. [...] they’re such an inspiring and welcoming collective - and they put together incredible events. I could talk for hours about each and every one of them and how talented they all are.
— Mark Grist, Poet Laureate of Peterborough in 2008 and the Edinburgh Fringe Slam Champion 2010.
Their voices were harmonious and their compositions synchronized; I was enthralled by their performance. The show, 50 minutes long, saw the two poets recounting original poems about social and parental issues, memories, past loves & children, while taking off their ‘social clothes’ to stand naked in front of a bunch of strangers. If one imagines a poetry show to be just about love poems, as YouTube has taught us, this was not the case. Katie and Kevin succeeded in capturing the attention of the entire audience, which ranged from teenagers to couples in their sixties.
— The Tribe
Edinburgh is dripping with literary history, and it’s easy to lose a day perusing the musty wares of the West Port’s many secondhand bookshops or get a high-octane hit from the city’s best wordsmiths. In addition to events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, there are spoken word nights all over the city. Loud Poets, Rally & Broad (rallyandbroad.com) and Neu! Reekie! offer noisy slam poetry, eclectic cabaret and unforgettable evenings – all at bargain prices.
— The Guardian
Striking comic books are often stitched together using bright, vivid characters between multi-coloured pages which are filled with untamed slapstick from start to finish. These stories are crammed into fairly short magazines whereby one-liners and plots appear inside speech-bubbles materialising from character’s mouths, filling hearts with glee as, on a weekly or monthly basis, each personality’s little idiosyncrasies proceed to leave their own animated impression on us, the readers. And herein lies the successful formula which Edinburgh’s Loud Poets collective abide by.
— Stephen Watt, author of "Spit".

 

PRaise from further afield

I found myself engaged by what I was hearing. Not only that, but also motivated to give it a go myself. That’s something I can very rarely say when I hear poetry, as often I’m overwhelmed by inaccessible language or self-indulgent fart-arsery. (A man of language, me?) None of that could be said for Loud Poets.
— Fringe Review

 

PRAISE FROM our 2017 Fringe show

★★★★★ - The Student

★★★★★ - VoiceMag

★★★★ - Fringe Guru

★★★★ - Broadway Baby
Think you know poetry? Think again. Loud Poets are back for another Fringe, proclaiming a new breed of pint-drinking spoken word for the masses. Thoughtful and inclusive, it’s thin on polo necks and rich in subject matter [...] Down-to-earth and easy to access, this is a brilliant introduction to spoken word with a surprisingly broad appeal. The Loud Poets wisely don’t try to compete with more the flamboyant side of the Edinburgh Fringe, but instead present an understated, slick performance that will leave you pondering the content for days after
— Fringe Guru
The night combines poetry, live music and film in a way that has audience members mesmerised from the onset. The show skilfully sways from amorous to poignant, political to playful and right back around again.
— Broadway Baby
A larger than life show that will make you fall in love with performance poetry.
— VoiceMag
A firm favourite on the Fringe.
— Edinburgh Spotlight

 

audience reactions to our 2017 fringe show

As a reforming performance poet, I was interested in seeing this show, and it didn’t disappoint. Unlike a lot of poetry evenings, it was not people reading platitudes from a sheet of paper, rhyming love with dove and expecting applause, this was proper, fist shaking, roof-raising poetry that hit home. Immersive spoof adverts introduced the show, and featured throughout it, whilst a tight, and talented four piece band played electric guitar, keyboard, cahon and violin across a wide range of genre, from Scottish party music, to music concrete, incorporating moods and sounds behind the poets, giving more visceral energy than just hearing the words by themselves. The four performers in Loud Poets, Kevin McLean, Doug Garry, Catherine Wilson, Katie Ailes and guest Vitoria McNulty tackled a wide range of topics, from love, to nuclear war, the end of time, parent-hood, and the drunken nights we have all learnt to either forget, or regret.
Relevant, meaningful, accessible, joyful, disturbing. You don’t need to be ‘into’ poetry to enjoy this. It’s an entertaining, quality production and probably the best show I’ve seen so far. I can’t recommend this enough. Go and see it. It’s brilliant and spoke to our whole group (ages 20 to 60) we all loved it.

 

PRAISE FROM our 2016 Fringe show

★★★★ - Broadway Baby

★★★★ - TV Bomb
These people are sensational performers, engaging effortlessly with the crowd in a down-to-earth manner that puts everybody at ease [...] they are outspoken, human, and skillful. This is an act not to be missed.
— Broadway Baby
The Loud Poets are quite possibly the most reliably entertaining spoken word show at the Fringe [...] when you roll up to a Loud Poets event, you can rest assured that you’re in for something of quality.
— TVBomb

 

PRAISE OF OUR 2015 FRINGE SHOW

★★★★ - The Scotsman

★★★★ - Broadway Baby

★★★★ - TV Bomb

★★★★½ - The Student

★★★★½ - Edinburgh Student Arts Review
Throughout there’s a humour; poignancy and most of all a confidence which serves to inspire.
— The Scotsman
...a slick, no-nonsense conveyor belt of spoken word characterised by tightly crafted poetry and high-quality performance.
— Broadway Baby
...the Loud Poets Fringe show is definitely pure entertainment and is probably the best performance poetry show on the Fringe.
— TV Bomb
Loud Poets is sure to inspire, dazzle and provoke-thought.
— Edinburgh Student Arts Festival

 

PRaise of our 2014 fringe show

★★★★★ - Love Fringe

★★★★★ - NineMoreThanNone

★★★★★ - TV Bomb

★★★★ - Edinburgh Spotlight
High-octane, high-volume: hijacks attention and slams boredom.
— NineMoreThanNone
The most talented and engaging poetry collective to grace the Fringe in a long time.
— TVBomb
These poets are speaking from the heart with a passion that causes the atmosphere to vibrate.
— Edinburgh Spotlight
A smorgasbord of lyrical enjoyment, laughter, arresting performances and, above all, talent.
— Lunar Poetry Monthly

 

audience reactions to the 2014 fringe show

“A masterclass in the power of words.”

“First ever poetry related event of my life tonight and Loud Poets have turned it into a passion.”

”I’ve been to many poetry nights, and this has pushed every boundary.”