Maybe one of the most influential poetry groups on the circuit, Loud Poets are back after a very successful time at the Edinburgh Fringe and, speaking to Catherine Wilson and Fiona Liddell, Loud Poets seem to be gearing up for another exciting year.
On 29 September the group of poets and musicians returned to their monthly performances which are an opportunity to ‘showcase the best talent in this city’ but, with the fourth birthday of Loud Poets coming in February 2018, the group are preparing to embellish their typical calendar with a series of slams challenging poets to perform collaborative poetry , comic or lyrical in each slam before the winners of each will battle it out in a final ‘ultimate’ slam to decide which poetry is best.
Loud Poets’ work stands out on the performance scene in Edinburgh due to their collaboration with band Ekobirds fusing music and poetry under the belief that ‘so many poems… gain so much by music’. When asked about how the creative process works, they both responded that now the time spent on music in comparison to the poetry is a ‘more level playing field’ with the writers ‘adapting their poetry’ rather than simply just having music created simply for the poetry. Wilson admitted that she had to perform one of her poems with music recently because she could only hear the poem with the music now.
This approach to poetry brought a freshness to the scene and, along with the introduction of slams in the coming months, it is clear that the poets are continuously asking themselves ‘what else can we do?’ With influences such as Shane Koyczan and Neil Hilborn, this is a talented group of artists who are unafraid to push the boundaries of what people would generally assume performance poetry to be.
Both say, ‘we’re all trying very different stuff’ which was evidenced in their use of advert-style videos between sets during their Fringe show where they questioned what it really is to ‘sell’ poetry. Designed by Perry Jonsson, the ethos surrounding these videos is that ‘videos break it up a bit while still giving an overall narrative to the show’ and provide a space for the audience to breathe.
These are a group of poetry lovers whose work changes perceptions of what performance poetry means with every show they do. You can catch them on 27 October at The Mash House for a fiver on the door (or free if you are signed up as part of their Patreon), and they truly are a breath of fresh air into the poetry world.
Note: As well as also discussing their support of student Esme Allman, they were quick to recommend the following nights for anyone interested in performing at slams or just watching more poetry:
The God Damn Debut Slam on 13 October at Banshee Labyrinth
Soapbox on 12 October at Pleasance Bar
Inky Fingers: (with Marianne MacRae) on 3 October at Lighthouse Books
Flint & Pitch on 20th October at The Bongo Club
Photo credit: Perry Jonsson