Hello everyone! One of my biggest joys this past year has been doing more teaching. One of the chief reasons I got into academia was to teach – I’ve found that there’s no better way to learn than to share your knowledge with others. In the autumn I taught Intro to Creative Writing at Strathclyde, where the syllabus mostly focused on prose. Since I’ve primarily written and researched poetry for the past several years, it was wonderful for me to revisit the basics of prose writing and work with my students to develop their skills. This semester I will be teaching ‘Writing Real Life,’ a third-year course focused on creative non-fiction. I’m really enjoying prepping for the course by reading as many essays, profiles, and memoirs as possible! It’s particularly interesting for me as a (usually) confessional spoken word artist to consider the fine line between truth and fiction in well-crafted creative ‘non-fiction,’ particularly considering the haziness of memory.
In addition to teaching at Strathclyde, I’m also excited to be delivering several one-off workshops that will be open to the public. Although these workshops will differ slightly, each is focused on getting folks started composing and performing spoken word. Details are below; would be wonderful to see you there!
First, I’m delighted to be giving a workshop as part of this year’s Audacious Women Festival in Edinburgh! The festival’s motto is ‘Do what you always wish you dared,’ and the workshops offered encourage women to get out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves to boldly do what they never thought they could. I’ll be delivering a two-hour spoken word workshop specifically for women on Saturday, 25th Feb. at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. This workshop is for women of all ages and experience levels, and will give you the tools you need to begin writing and performing audaciously. Tickets available here.
Second, I am incredibly honoured and excited to be delivering a workshop at this year’s StAnza festival in St. Andrews! My fellow Loud Poet Kevin Mclean and I will be giving a two-and-a-half hour workshop on Sunday, 5th March to anyone interested in composing and performing spoken word. The workshop is FREE and open to all. Later that day we’re holding a Loud Poets showcase in the same space, so why not make it a spoken word afternoon? Details on the StAnza website.
Finally, in May I’m very pleased to be giving a workshop for the new social enterprise The Curious Thing in Stirling! This project provides classes for adults looking to learn new skills and re-invests all profit back into the community to create social change. I’ll be giving a two-hour workshop on 18th May at the Stirling Smith Gallery for adults interested in writing and performing their own poetry. Tickets are now available via this link.
If you’re interested in booking me or any of the Loud Poets for a workshop, please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to work with you. Hope you’re having a creative 2017 so far! – Katie
Photo credit: Perry Jonsson
Posted in Performance Poetry, Teaching
Tagged Audacious Women Festival, Loud Poets, performance poetry, poetry workshops, Scotland, Scottish poetry, spoken word, StAnza, The Curious Thing, workshops
Hello everyone! I’m just catching my breath after two whirlwind tours with Loud Poets in the past three weeks, first to the Brighton Fringe, then to the Prague Fringe. Both festivals were fantastic, and I’m so grateful to the team of poets, musicians, and our videographer Perry Jonsson for working so hard to make our shows the best they could be. Now back to research, writing, and preparations for Loud Poets’ month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe this August!
Rather than a blog post, today I’m sharing a vlog I recorded with the fantastic Glasgow-based poet Sam Small back in February. We chatted about whether or not there are regional differences in spoken word styles across Scotland, including discussing the effects of globalisation and technology on the art form. Thanks to Perry for filming, and to Loud Poets for curating this great vlog series! Please do check out the rest of the videos up on the Loud Poets YouTube channel while you’re there, including many more vlogs plus lots of poetry! Hope you’re well, and thanks for watching!
One of my hopes for the new year was to try out new ways of writing and performing, and the start of 2016 has happily involved just that: I’ve been composing and performing lots of collaborative poems! Before this year I’d never written collaboratively before. Writing poetry had always been an intensely solitary event for me, involving plenty of quiet and months over which to edit, but never other people, at least not until I had a draft I was happy enough with to show friends. Writing team poems doesn’t allow for that kind of solitary reflection or leisurely time frame: it means composing, editing, and rehearsing in real time with a group of other poets who may have radically different composition techniques from your own. For me it’s been a rewarding challenge and has yielded some of the most exciting work I’ve done in a while. Here I discuss some of the unique challenges and joys of collaborative writing I’ve discovered, as well as some tips I’ve found for working well in a group and creating innovative work.
Posted in Creative Practice, Performance Poetry, Writing
Tagged collaborative poem, collaborative poems, collaborative poetry, collaborative writing, group poems, Loud Poets, Slam poetry, spoken word, team poems
This site has been rather quiet for the past couple weeks, but for a good reason: I’ve been touring with the Loud Poets in London and at the Brighton Fringe Festival! They had me along as a guest poet on their show, a techie, flyerer, and social media manager, among other roles everyone played as part of a small touring artistic collective. I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated, talented, and fun group of folks to tour with: the Loud Poets are wonderful people as well as brilliant artists. The tour was thrilling and highly successful, with crowds highly engaged and audiences swelling as buzz spread about Loud Poets throughout the tour. Continue reading
This week I’m handing over the pen (keyboard?). We have an exciting guest post from Halah Mohammed, a spoken word poet from Brooklyn, New York who has been traveling the world on a Watson fellowship this year researching autobiographical narratives shared through spoken word poetry. She blogs about her experiences and posts interviews with poets here. Recently she came up to Scotland to check out the slam scene here and attended events including Loud Poets, Rally & Broad, and Last Monday at Rio. She also interviewed poets – excerpts from her interviews with Carly Brown and Catherine Wilson are posted here and here, and more interviews (with Agnes Torok, myself, and more poets) are coming soon. Halah kindly agreed to write a guest post for this blog on her perceptions of the Scottish word scene. Enjoy! Continue reading