Stick a pin in the nearest calendar to you; I will guarantee somewhere in Glasgow there will be a poetry show on. This expansion of the scene has led to me being asked more than ever “where should I start performing?” and “what events are worth attending?”.
Honestly, to the latter, I’m likely to answer, most if not all. But then again, I’m already an admitted addict. So, here’s my guide, for those who are new to the scene – where to go, for what kinda show!
I want to start performing poetry – where should I go?
All cards on the table….. I may have a personal interest in you attending this particular night.
Aloud is the QMU’s very own literary open mic. All are welcome to attend and sign up. At Aloud we pride ourselves on being an inviting environment for new voices and new styles. We support anyone who wishes to try out whatever flavour of poetry or prose they write, on the stage of Jim’s Bar.
Swing by to have a look on February the 11th for our LGBTQ+ Special, where we will have our usual sign up sheet, and a themed one. If you feel like taking the stage at any point, we keep our book open all night for new and returning performers!
The Blue Chair Open Mic
One thing that really helped my starting up as a performer was having a place I could come every week to try out new and old material, in the company of a kind and honest community. The practice and advice I received in those days has led me to where I am now – which I hope is a better place.
This is why spaces like the Blue Chair are so important. Every Wednesday, the Blue Chair opens its doors, and its mic, to regulars and new starts for a night of performance at all levels. If you are looking to get started performing regularly, I can’t recommend nights like this enough.
I want to see some awesome poetry – where should I go?
Inn Deep is where I started regularly attending nights, it is where I performed first and is very much still my home in the poetry scene. Inn Deep’s crowd is warm, welcoming and large – as in, every inch of floor filled with poetry fiends, large – making it a wonderful atmosphere for a new audience member. And the reason for such a loyal and receptive crowd is clear from the line-up and from the second the host (Sam Small) takes to the mic.
This is the open mic many of the established poets frequent, meaning it is always a good place to catch a quick set from some of the best on the scene.
Catch it every second Tuesday – the next being the 9th of February – at Inn Deep on Great Western Road from 8pm.
Have you seen those poets on the Youtube? Y’know the fast-talking, high-decible, polished, professional, personal, political badasses you can’t help but listen to. Well, this is kinda like that, but better.
Loud Poets are a collective of performance heavy poets with a twist – each poet only ever does one poem at a time, with no opening chat or introductions and only one rule, BE LOUD . This ingenious format makes for a rollercoaster of a night and a definite must-see event if you’re new to the scene.
The Loud Poets roll into Glasgow from their base in Edinburgh once a month. The shows are in Stereo on Sauchiehall Street, the next being part of their Three Day Birthday Event on the 25th of February.
Are you wanting the polished, professional performances in longer doses? What if we throw in some music, comedy or theatre?
Rally & Broad is the way to go. Hosted by Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum, this cabaret is a wonderful way to ease yourself into the scene. The shows are packed to the brim with fantastic writers and musicians, both on the stage and in the crowd.
Spend a Sunday afternoon being serenaded in the lovely surroundings of Stereo on Renfield Lane. You can catch them next on the 21st of February with The Ampersand Sessions!
SLAMS! – All the time @ Everywhere!
It’s competitive art, what’s not to love?
Poetry slams occur throughout the year, and are a great jumping on point for anyone interested in watching performers at their best, with the added suspense of scores and an eventual winner. The crowd gets riled up, the poets are aiming for the prize, and the nights are always enjoyable, light-hearted and heartily entertaining.
At the end of the slam year, anyone who has won a slam in Scotland gains entry to the Scottish National Slam Championship, an event where the best of the best trade punches (well, poems) to determine who will represent us at the World Slam in Paris.
The last qualifier of the slam year will be taking place on Sunday the 7th of February in the Blue Chair, on High Street. The show will kick off at 2.30.
[Ross McFarlane – @RossDMcFarlane]