This year, for the first time ever, the Scottish Poetry Library will be a venue in the evening for Fringe shows, with a range of shows with a poetry or spoken word angle will take place at the library throughout August.
Some examples of what you can expect are Imogen Stirling’s #Hypocrisy (8-12 August, 7pm). where Stirling examines contemporary contradictions through poetry, comedy and music. Poet and musician Colin Bramwell presents Umbrella Man (13-18 August, 5.15pm), ‘the tragicomic story of a sandwich artist who attempts to prove that the earth is flat’.
The organisers of That’s What She Said will present a showcase of irreverent poetry, stand-up and storytelling by women with a different line-up every day (16-18 August, 7.30pm). That’s What She Said has daily open-mic slots available for women and non-binary identifying performers of all ages and backgrounds. Performers slated to take part include Jenny Lindsay, Salena Godden and Leyla Josephine.
Late in the month, the Poets Republic checks in with their Unleashed show, taking place over two days, with two shows on each day (24-25 August, 2pm and 7pm). The 900 Club (3-12 August, 9pm) is a play which sees its characters reunited on a 900 Megabus to Edinburgh five years after the death of a mutual friend caused a split. Claire Askew and Dominic Stevenson bring London poetry night Listen Softly to the SPL (14-15 August, 7pm) – their open mic slot particularly encourages poets with disabilities.
Also on offer is Ken Cockburn’s daily poetry walks departing from the Library (6-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-27 August, 11am). Reading the Streets is ‘an Old Town Poetry Tour’, weaving through courtyards, kirkyards and vennels. Hear poems about Edinburgh’s past and present written by famous residents and visitors including Robert Burns, Victor Hugo and many more.
Finally, on 23 August, the SPL will host an event to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Details on what the events will look like and who’s appearing are evolving at the time of going to press, but even at this stage it looks as if it’s going to be an important event. Keep an eye on their website and social media for further details. And remember – the Library will be open as normal over August.
Find out more about the Scottish Poetry Library’s programme of events here.