Spoken Word has been a big part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the past few years. The Unbound strand in the evening blurs the lines between onstage performance and author readings and the Babble On strand goes one step further by presenting spoken word performers and performance poets throughout the main programme of the festival. In the past Kate Tempest, Luke Wright and George The Poet have all performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and this year sees a big increase in spoken word events with a wide range of writers and performers.
On Saturday 12 August the Book Festival kicks off and the first event in the Babble On strand also takes place. This event features two Australian poets Luka Lesson and Omar Musa and two Edinburgh based poets Jenny Lindsay and Michael Pedersen. The four poets are presenting a newly commissioned work exclusively for the Book Festival. They previewed the event a few months ago at Scottish Poetry Library and experiencing the final work will be definitely be a highlight of the festival. Luke Wright returns to the Book Festival this year to discuss his latest collection of poetry, The Toll. As usual he is having a busy festival season and is also taking part in a separate event looking at Poet Laureate’s of the past and how they can represent a collective voice.
Michael Pedersen is featuring in more than one event during the Babble On strand and returns on Friday 18 August to launch his new poetry collection Oyster. This is a collaboration with Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. As well as being a talented songwriter, Hutchison is also an illustrator and has provided artwork for the book. Other highlights during the festival include an event on Sunday 20 August featuring four female performers – Jemima Foxtrot, Iona Lee, Sabrina Mahfouz and Sophia Walker, while on Monday 21 Hera Lindsay Bird and Hollie McNish will be performing at the Book Festival.