Curated in partnership with Becky Fincham and Luke Wright, Babble On brings a host of top spoken word performers to Edinburgh, from international stars to giants of the UK scene. Spoken word is a nimble art form, responding quickly to major events, cutting deeper than journalism. Join poets writing from the frontline of the national conversation, who are forging new ways of writing and performing, and poets looking toward the future as parents. Lose yourself in words that are life-affirming, but don’t flinch away from the struggles of society with some of the most exhilarating talents working today.
Janette Ayachi, Liz Berry, Toria Garbutt & Clare Pollard
MOTHERHOOD: FOUR POETS
Saturday 17 August, 12:30 - 13:30, Garden Theatre, £12, £10
A new wave of acclaimed and award-winning contemporary poets who write about motherhood come together to present their latest work. Through four captivating readings, Janette Ayachi, Liz Berry, Toria Garbutt and Clare Pollard bring their bold, resonant and unique voices to the often unarticulated nuances of maternity in all its forms: tender, anguished, joyful.
Release Your Inner Poet: Spoken Word Workshop
Saturday 17 August, 15:30 - 16:30, Writers' Retreat, £5
From #Instapoetry to TV ads, poetry and spoken word are gaining popularity every day. Do you have an inner wordsmith waiting to be heard? Have you dreamed of taking to the stage with your thoughts and poems? Two of the UK’s top poetry stars – Liz Berry and Toria Garbutt – host an energetic workshop giving you the tools to write and perform like a pro.
Charly Cox, Theresa Lola & Tayi Tibble
GENERATION NEXT: NEW POETRY VOICES
Saturday 17 August 16:00 - 17:00, The Spiegeltent, £ What you can
‘It’s official. We’ve fallen (back) in love with poetry’ the Metro declared earlier this year, reporting a 12% increase in poetry book sales in 2018. Underpinning the boom are bold new voices exploring issues from politics to mental health on page, stage and social media. Three of the most exciting new talents – Charly Cox, Theresa Lola and Tayi Tibble – perform from their well-received debut collections.
Martin Figura presents Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine
THE FORMULA FOR LOVE
Saturday 17 August 17:45 - 18:45, Garden Theatre, £12, £10
Is there a mathematical equation for love? What can be retrieved from life’s catastrophes and wounds? Martin Figura’s debut spoken word show Whistle was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and received standing ovations all over the UK. Today he presents Dr Zeeman's Catastrophe Machine, a follow-up which is no less breathtaking or life-affirming as it examines love through a scientific lens.
Brian Bilston & Martin Rowson
POEMS FROM THE FRONTLINE
Sunday 18 August 14:00 - 15:00, Spark Theatre on George Street, £12, £10
Martin Rowson, the Guardian’s political cartoonist, has authored over thirty books. His most recent, debut poetry collection Pastrami Faced Racist and Other Verses, is as scabrous and inventive as his cartoons. Brian Bilston brings us his poetry collection You Took the Last Bus Home, and has been dubbed ‘Twitter’s Poet Laureate’ with thousands enjoying his work on a daily basis. With Britain at war over austerity, Brexit and the environment, this special event pairs two poets writing from the frontline, in a conversation with spoken word artist Luke Wright.
Rachel Long, Tania Nwachukwu & Hibaq Osman
OCTAVIA POETRY COLLECTIVE
Sunday 18 August 16:00 - 17:00, Garden Theatre, £12, £10
Octavia is a poetry collective for women of colour founded by Rachel Long in response to the lack of representation in literature and academia. Since 2015, Octavia have read beyond the canon and written themselves on their own terms, coming together every month at the Southbank Centre. This event showcases the breathtaking talents of Rachel Long, Tania Nwachukwu and Hibaq Osman in an hour of unforgettable poetry.
20 YEAR CELEBRATION
Sunday 18 August 18:30 - 19:30, The Spiegeltent, £12, £10
Despite looking like a porcelain-faced 12 year old with a thyroid problem, Luke Wright’s clocked up twenty years treading the boards from rural bar rooms to the London Palladium and drenching microphones in spittle. Performing poems from his new pamphlet After Engine Trouble and his recent double LP Twenty, tonight’s show celebrates two decades of witty and inventive work that is bursting with emotion.
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Join The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh online for this talk which explores how and why the casualty department was transformed over the course of the 20th century!