Edinburgh's first ever International Poetry Festival to launch this weekend

Push The Boat Out, Scotland’s newest poetry festival, will run in Edinburgh’s Summerhall from 15 - 17 October.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:37 pm

The festival aims to challenge perceptions of what poetry is and how it will be enjoyed.

Edinburgh audiences can attend in-person performances of contemporary poetry, spoken word and hip-hop from around 60 poets – one of whom is the newly appointed Scots Makar Kathleen Jamie.

Other key programme highlights include performances by Scottish hip hop legend Solareye / Dave Hook of Stanley Odd, celebrated Caribbean poet Lorna Goodison, and the author of the first-ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award, Andrew McMillan.

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Some of the events will be live-streamed, while others will be filmed and posted online afterwards.

The idea for Push the Boat Out came from Jenny Niven, former head of literature at Creative Scotland, and co-founder Kevin Williamson, writer, publisher and co-founder of Edinburgh-based literary company Neu! Reekie!,

Niven said: “We are so excited to be launching our inaugural Push The Boat Out programme after what has been a difficult year for everyone, not least those working within the arts.

The Push the Boat Out team, pictured with Nova Scotia the Truth, a rapper and DJ who will be performing at the festival.

That said, poetry is all about using language in new ways, to express new experiences, so if ever there was a time to explore this vital and vibrant art form, it is now.

We feel incredibly lucky to be hosting our inaugural festival in a city so full of talent, at a time when there is so much to say, and off the back of a summer festival season that saw performance take over more city spaces than ever before.

With performers and artists spanning the full spectrum of this spectacular artform, from classical verse to hip hop, we can’t wait for audiences to come along and enjoy.”

Push The Boat Out are also launching the Poetry Mile initiative which allows users to experience Edinburgh filtered through the eyes and ears of some of the country’s finest poets , through a dedicated web app. The app will generate bespoke walking tours for users using over 50 specifically commissioned poems from over 25 poets.

For the full programme visit: https://shows.pushtheboatout.org/

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