For nearly a decade, Neu! Reekie! has been electrifying audiences in Edinburgh (and beyond) with its incendiary mix of spoken word, music and short films. The brainchild of poet-provocateurs Kevin Williamson and Michael Pedersen, Neu! Reekie! has been a key player in popularising spoken word for a new generation of young Scots, their stage a meeting ground where a golden generation of poets (Douglas Dunn, Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead) share the limelight with tomorrow’s stars. For CoastWord, the Neu! Reekie! boys have pulled together another unmissable bill. In addition to Pedersen and Williamson, thrills and spills will be provided by folk musician Rachel Sermanni, singer-songwriter Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), former Scots Maker and Queen’s Medal for Poetry recipient and one of that ‘Golden Generation’, poet Liz Lochhead and CoastWord poet-in-residence Jenny Lindsay who will read poems written during her residency.
Michael Pedersen is the author of two poetry collections, published by Polygon, the most recent of which is Oyster (2017).
Kevin Williamson is a poet and a publisher. He is the co-founder of political and cultural commentary website Bella Caledonia. During the 1990s, he ran Rebel Inc, which championed the early work of Irvine Welsh and Alan Warner.
Since her first full-length play Blood and Ice appeared in 1984 she has written numerous original plays and many adaptations from Molière, Chekhov, Euripides and Sophocles. Her best known original plays include: Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Perfect Days and the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award-winning Medea (Nick Hern, 2000). Her poetry collections include:Dreaming Frankenstein (Polygon, 1984), True Confessions and New Clichés (Polygon, 1985), Bagpipe Muzak (Penguin, 1991), The Colour of Black & White(Polygon, 2003) and A Choosing (Polygon, 2011). In 2005 Liz became Poet Laureate of Glasgow, and in 2011 she was appointed Scotland’s Makar, succeeding Edwin Morgan. Liz Lochhead was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2015). Liz is proud to be Honorary President of the Scottish Poetry Library.
‘Liz Lochhead has made a unique contribution to Scottish poetry. Since the early 1970s she has influenced an entire generation of other writers, bringing a new kind of poetry performance to the stage, as well as a different set of rhythms to the page. From the start, she spoke in her own feisty, female voice, mixing old Scots with new Scots – as aware of Burns as of Morgan – and she did this with a galvanizing spirit and vitality that helped to change the landscape of British poetry’ – Carol Ann Duffy
Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish folk singer. Chosen as a Herald ‘Star of 2012’, she subsequently went on to support Mumford and Sons, Elvis Costello and Rumer.
Louis Abbot is a founder member of Admiral Fallow, which has recorded three albums and toured with Belle and Sebastian, King Creosote, Paolo Nutini and Snow Patrol.
Jenny Lindsay is a poet, performer, programmer and co-founder of Flint and Pitch, a platform where emerging, Scottish spoken word, theatre, live literature and music acts perform alongside established artists.