Book Week Scotland: 10 Performance Poets


I work for the Scottish Book Trust School Events Team and November 27- December 01 2017 we are on tour around Scotland with the exciting and innovative spoken work artist Deanna Rodger. The aim of next week’s tour is to see teens who are less than enthusiastic about reading or don’t see reading as an enjoyable activity. To try to challenge their perceptions of poetry as boring, stuffy and not for them, we are taking a contemporary performance poet into classes. Many schools have been looking at grime and rap music as a way into poetry in preparation, so Deanna’s performance poetry should be a good fit. The event will explore identity and encourage pupils to think about how context can affect the meaning of words. The sessions in schools will (hopefully) end with some student performances of their chosen word.

This week I have been keying up on some performance poets, so here are my 10 innovative and interesting individuals. Many also work with schools or teens, and Deanna has worked extensively with community centres and on arts projects with Lauderdale in London.

The topics covered are often political, but performance poetry, for an event or longer project, could be an exciting way to engage teens in a museum collection or topic such as Health and Wellbeing. Most of the poets are Scottish or British, and a sprinkling are from further afield:

  1. Deanna Rodger
  2. Hollie McNish
  3. Kevin P Gilday
  4. The Loud Poets
  5. Leyla Josephine
  6. Kevin McLean
  7. Jenny Lindsey
  8. Matthew Miller (Door to Door Poet)
  9. Shane Koyczan
  10. Joseph Coelho

–Hannah Sycamore, Scottish Learning Group’s Blogger Superstar! and Scottish Book Trust Schools Events Administrator (Maternity Cover)

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


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