For Books’ Sake is an organisation who champion writing from women and their work includes presenting the live literature event That’s What She Said. Tonight’s event is hosted by poet Bridget Hart and is back in Edinburgh at the Mezzanine level of the Scottish Poetry Library after a successful Fringe run in 2018. During the event we hear from 6 different performers, each with their own distinct and unique styles.
First up is Courtney Conrad, who is due to appear in the final of the BBC Poetry Slam later this evening. She reads three poems that look at themes of androgyny, homophobia and violence. It is a captivating way to start the event and sets the standard of the show. She is a brilliant performer with a powerful rhythm in her words and it is obvious why she made the final of the BBC Poetry Slam. The next poet to read is Leeds based writer and spoken word performer Roz Weaver. She begins with her own take on Beyoncé with a poem called If You Like It Then You Should Have Given Me A Bit Of Space. She continues with poems that tackle themes off consent and eating disorders and each strikes a chord with the audience through the passion and power of the delivery. The third performer is Hannah Aine Smith. She is a writer and actor and currently at the Edinburgh Fringe with the show Conversations With Van Gogh. Hannah performs an extract from this show and looks at themes of depression, mental health and death. Even though it is just an extract, the performance gives a taster of the deeply personal nature of the work.
After the first three guest performers there are two featured poets, before the headline act. Bibi June is a Glasgow based poet and will be returning to the Scottish Poetry Library later this Fringe to perform The 900 Club with spoken word theatre company In The Works. They performer a short and brilliant set with poems on art and identity. Bibi’s performance compliments the previous poets and sets the stage for the excellent Malaika Kegode. Malaika is a poet and performer who is based in Bristol who writes and performs uplifting poetry about relationships and mental health. The headline act is d’bi.young anitafrika. She is a Jamaican born and raised, but recently moved to London. d’bi.young anitafrika takes the stage with vivacity and combines poetry, song and storytelling to present a story of womanhood, sexual assault, race and empowerment. She relentlessly tells this story with vigour, offering personal insights and embodying a variety of characters. It is a brilliant conclusion to a fantastic evening of queer feminist writing.