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LAST CHANCE to catch OUT:SPOKEN at the Free Fringe

Tomorrow is the final show for this year’s festival – and it’s a fine line-up to be going out on:


Adele Hampton – all the way from the US, bringing us some beautiful slam,  she represented her city at the national poetry slam in 2013, is currently ranked the number 2 gay poet in the world (for the second year running) and is about to be published in an anthology personally curated by Andrea Gibson (who is one of my heroes).

Keith Jarrett – who has a mix of honesty and humour that makes me really happy. He’s come up from London – not quite as far as Adele, but still a rare chance to see him!

Colin McGuire – home grown wonderfulness, host of Talking Heids, and a man like no other. He has a poem which includes the phrase “octopus clitoris” – I don’t know how you can resist that!


Two open mic’ers will be joining them! See you there…


OUT:SPOKEN at the Free Fringe: episode 2

Coming up on Wednesday 13th at 14:50 in the Banshee Labyrinth (Niddry Street):

Jo Clifford, aka Jesus Queen of Heaven – playwright, performer, teacher, maker of queer and beautiful life-affirming things.

Fay Roberts, impresario of the 5* Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret and poet of calm loveliness.

Hannah Chutzpah, zombie activist poet, with her own show at the Free Fringe this year, Asking Nicely

and an exciting last-minute addition, Dominic Berry – one of the most energetic, enthusiastic and joyful spoken word performers I’ve seen in a while!

Free entry, everyone welcome – don’t miss it!

Line up: 6th August

I’m so excited to have this trio opening for the PBH Free Fringe run – all amazing performers, all lovely people, all long-time friends of OUT:SPOKEN:

Sophia Walker – last year’s BBC Slam Champion, and winner of a Saboteur Award for her show Around the World in Eight Mistakes

Harry Giles – a slam winner and performance artist, this year shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award

Rachel Amey – winner of the National Library of Scotland and Rally & Broad slams (amongst others), and a BBC Slam finalist last year


I’m not going to say any more about them, I’ll let them speak for themselves – click on their names to see them in action…


Come and catch them at Banshee Labyrinth, 14:50 on Wednesday 6th August. It’s even free!


Announcing… OUT:SPOKEN at the PBH Free Fringe!

PBH Free Fringe logoWe’re back! After a bit of a break due to life stuff, I’m very excited to announce that there will be three OUT:SPOKEN shows as part of the PBH Free Fringe this August.

Catch the sparkliest, fiercest, loveliest queer spoken word on the 6th, 13th and 20th August, at 14.50 (1hr) at the Banshee Labyrinth. It is (as in says on the tin) free to get in! We’ll be asking for a donation at the end, which will go to costs and paying the artists – but if you’re skint we still want to see you!

More to come on the line-up as it’s confirmed, but we have some OUT:SPOKEN favourites already lined up… If YOU would like to join them on that stage, just drop an email to to grab a 5 minute open mic spot – there will only be a couple each day, so get in there asap.


A note on accessibility:

Unfortunately the venue is a bit of a challenge in terms of accessibility. There is step free access into the performance space, but there are no accessible toilets. Step-free access is through a door just down the hill from the main entrance. As always, please get in touch with any accessibility requirements, and I will do my very best to find a way to accommodate them!

Full line up confirmed…

outspoken2[1]The full line up for 23rd June is all set, and an exciting line up it is too! There’s going to be a great mix of styles and points of view. They’ll be introduced properly in a series of posts this week, but here’s a bit of a preview…

Jo Clifford – leading playwright and performer, author of The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven.

Harry Giles – poet, performance-maker, founder of friend of OUT:SPOKEN, Inky Fingers.

Wendy Miller – performer and playwright, Glasgay! veteran

Graeme Hawley – former Scottish Slam champion, curator of Tricolour at the National Library of Scotland.

And… you?? We’re also going to have a small open mic section! 5 minutes on stage to do a poem, dramatic monologue, rap, short story, flash fiction, diary entry – whatever words you fancy sharing… This is open to everyone; self identified non-straight performers can perform on any subject they like, but any straight allies who’d like to take to the stage are respectfully asked to do so in the spirit of support for their queer friends, by keeping it on the topic of queer issues. Email to get a slot!

Announcing – OUT:SPOKEN #2!

We are very excited to announce that OUT:SPOKEN is back!

We’ll be taking over the new Bongo Club from 3pm til 6pm 23rd June, for a line-up of fierce and lovely spoken word. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible, at 66 Cowgate, and there will be a bar for some cheeky Sunday afternoon pints if you so desire!

Tickets are £6/£4(conc) so that we can pay the acts and venue, and make sure we have a bit of cash to do it again. Concessions are for students, seniors, unemployed people, people on benefits, and people on a low wage.

Watch this space for announcements about who will be on the bill!

(image by _e.t)

Hello from OUT:SPOKEN

Hello! This is the internet home of OUT:SPOKEN, a quarterly showcase of queer spoken word. It’s run by me, Katherine McMahon, with help and advice from various poets and queers and queer poets. outspoken

It started in 2012 with what I thought might be a one-off event. On July 8th, we packed out the Jazz Bar with poets and queers and queer poets, to hear a line-up of 9 of the best queer Scottish spoken word artists. I had such a great time – and so many requests for more, please – that I decided to make it a quarterly thing.

That first OUT:SPOKEN was a response to chatting with other poets who felt worried that expressing their queer identities would earn them the label of a niche poet, put people off listening, or make people take them less seriously.  Obviously, this will not do! By putting together an event series which showcases established queer performers, I hope to provide some inspiration and encouragement to newer LGBTQ poets, as well as practically supporting LGBTQ artists through the ticket sales. OUT:SPOKEN is a space where queer poets (both performing and in the audience) can be unafraid, proud, and celebrated – and go back into the rest of the spoken word scene with a community behind them. It’s also a great chance for our straight allies to express their support. I hope that the night  will go some way to making more poets feel comfortable to come out as queer… and perhaps more queers will feel comfortable to come out as poets!