Samantha Emily Evans reviews Loud Poets: Poet Fiction, a poetry performance night at the City Cafe in Edinburgh on November 6th, 2015. It happens monthly in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
I am a big fan of the Loud Poets. I first discovered them because our very own St Andrews alumni Carly Brown is a Loud Poet. Last year, she invited me to one of her shows and I had a magical time. I felt like I was part of the brand new youth movement taking the nation. I felt I was part of the poetry renaissance in Scotland.
In November, I attended Loud Poets: Poet Fiction, and loved it once again. Their monthly showcase takes place in the basement of City Cafe, just off the Royal Mile. It was filled with a young excited crowd of mild intellectuals and hipsters, I felt I belonged. Under the circus parachute roof, the excitement was palpable, and the host of the evening, Kevin Mclean (one of the original members of Loud Poets), ignited the energy and kicked off the night.
“This is loud poets, this is loud crowd, I want you to be LOUD!!”
and we cheered madly like we were at a rock concert instead of a poetry reading. That is the beauty of the Loud Poets, they are bringing new life to poetry, infusing it into the culture of our contemporary world. They are making poetry cool again. Speaking to Douglas Garry, another original member, he explained that they are more inspired by youtube poets such as Anis Mojgani than by Academic poets. They proclaim proudly on their website,
“This is poetry for the masses.
This is the spoken word revolution.”
Every night begins with an open mic; it provides a great place for new voices to be heard and discovered. The winner gets to be a featured performer at next month’s night. At the Poet Fiction performance, Lloyd Carlton Robinson was the newest poet of the crew having won the previous month. The lineup was incredible and diverse, with topics ranging from mental health to bisexuality to body positivity to why poets date each other. BBC Scotland Poet in Residence Rachel McCrum was an astounding presence on the stage, with such strength and wisdom. Katie Ailes and Perry Jonsson premiered their poetry film collaboration “Polos”, with other great poets Jess Smith, Lewis Brown, Kevin Cadwallender, Suky Goodfellow, and Callum O’Dwyer.
The Loud Band was made up of Alistair Mackey, Jack Curry Hinks, Fiona Liddell, and Sam Thorne who improvised music to all of the poems and were tremendous.
It was an absolutely LOUD evening, and I cannot wait to see more. I felt inspired, like I had discovered the cutting-edge of poetry in Scotland. Their next performance is Big Love Actually on December 4th in Edinburgh, and Jagged Little Poet on December 17th in Glasgow. And, very exciting, Loud Poets Kevin Mclean and Katie Ailes will be performing at the StAnza Poetry Festival 2016 at the Byre Theatre. Come visit the cutting-edge.
Samantha Emily Evans