More than 60 singers, writers and spoken word artists will take over the Summerhall Arts Center for three days as a major new addition to the city’s cultural calendar.
Scottish Album of the Year winner Nova Scotia The Truth, first rapper to win the title, Scottish hip-hop favorite Solareye, indie rock singer Roddy Woomble, newly appointed Makar Kathleen Jamie, playwright Hannah Lavery and Caribbean poet Lorna Goodison are all confirmed. to appear in Push The Boat Out.
It is expected to transform ‘every nook and cranny’ of Summerhall from October 15-17, but is also slated so that it can move forward in one form or another if new Covid restrictions are introduced.
The organizers are creating an app that will allow festival-goers to experience the streets of Edinburgh through the eyes and ears of more than 25 poets.
They have been commissioned to create new works for bespoke walking tours which can be enjoyed within a square mile of Summerhall.
They say they want to create an environment where all variations of poetry can “grow, evolve and even collide” and explore new ways of bringing poetry and audiences together by “challenging perceptions of what poetry is. and how it can be appreciated ”.
Push The Boat Out, which was backed by national arts agency Creative Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and sponsors of Baillie Gifford, was developed on lockdown by Kevin Williamson, writer, editor and co-founder of the artistic collective Neu! Reekie, and producer and director Jenny Niven.
Push The Boat Out, which will feature films, music, song, dance and debate, was announced last year to coincide with the centenary of the birth of the late Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s first Makar .
Other acts due to appear at Summerhall include Roseanne Watt, Harry Josephine Giles, Ray Antrobus, Clare Pollard, Caroline Bird and Salena Godden.
The Poetry Mile project, which is expected to help new students navigate their way in parts of Edinburgh, will feature the work of writers like Esa Aldegheri, Janette Ayachi, Helen Boden, Christine De Luca, Jenny Lindsay, Theresa Muñoz , Michael Pedersen, Julia Sorensen and Alan Spence.
Push The Boat Out would only become Scotland’s second annual poetry festival, after Stanza, in St Andrews, which was launched in 1998 and is held every March.
Ms. Niven said: “We are delighted to launch our first Push The Boat Out program after a difficult year for everyone, especially those working in the arts.
“That said, poetry is about using language in new ways, to express new experiences, so if there ever was a time to explore this vital and vibrant art form, it’s now.
“We feel incredibly lucky to host our inaugural festival in a city so full of talent, at a time where there is so much to say, and at the end of a summer festival season that has seen
performance is taking over more urban spaces than ever.
“With performers and artists spanning the full spectrum of this spectacular art form, from classical verse to hip hop, we can’t wait for audiences to come and enjoy.”