Babble On - Spoken Word

Babble On - Spoken Word
The international spoken word and poetry scene is bigger and more popular than ever. As Babble On returns to the Book Festival for the fifth year, it takes you one step closer to the raw talent and gives
you the chance to get to know some of the most exhilarating and talented poets writing today a lot better. With poets performing solo or as part of a dynamic duo, each event cuts to the heart of the shiny multi-faceted jewel that is poetry and spoken word in performance. Let the poets and the poetry speak for themselves. Babble On is programmed and produced by Luke Wright and Becky Fincham.

Matt Abbott & Joelle Taylor

Explosive Political Poetry

Friday 17 August 18:00 - 19:00

All the snarl and spit of spoken word in one explosive show. Joelle Taylor is an award-winning slam poet, playwright and spoken word artist. Her collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me, inspired by her workshops with vulnerable women, powerfully evokes...

Claire Askew & Zaffar Kunial

Poetry’s New Guard

Friday 17 August 19:30 - 20:30

The received world is challenged and presented afresh, as Zaffar Kunial and Claire Askew present their affecting poetry collections. A star of the Faber New Poets scheme, Kunial reads from his hypnotic and much-anticipated first collection Us....

Frankie Vah by Luke Wright

80s Indie Verse Play

Saturday 18 August 13:45 - 14:45

We all want something to believe in. It’s 1987 and Frankie Vah gorges on love, radical politics and indie stardom. But can he keep it all down? Following the multi award-winning What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, Luke Wright’s second verse play deals...

Salena Godden & Molly Naylor

Frank, Funny and Full of Dark Joy

Saturday 18 August 18:45 - 19:45

Meet two of the sharpest, wittiest voices from the spoken word scene. Famed for her electrifying live performances, poet, memoirist and broadcaster Salena Godden’s spoken word album LIVEWire was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award 2017. Poet,...

Vanessa Kisuule & Hannah Jane Walker

Rising Stars of Spoken Word

Saturday 18 August 20:00 - 21:00

Wowing audiences with exhilarating performances is second nature to Vanessa Kisuule and Hannah Jane Walker. Writer, performer, burlesque artist and ten-time slam champion Kisuule performs work from her collection A Recipe For Sorcery; a recipe book for...

Mike Garry & Deanna Rodger

Beautiful, Expansive Spoken Word

Sunday 19 August 12:00 - 13:00

Meet two big-hearted poets who take you from the city gutters right up to the stars. Mike Garry supports John Cooper Clarke on tour and has collaborated with New Order, Iggy Pop and Philip Glass. Deanna Rodger is one of the most celebrated young poets...

Elvis McGonagall & Murray Lachlan Young

Flamboyant Satirical Verse

Sunday 19 August 15:30 - 16:30

Distinctive wordsmith Murray Lachlan Young, BBC 6 Music's poet-in-residence, offers flamboyant punchy wit and brooding subtext in this stunning live show drawing on his acclaimed How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary...

Inua Ellams

Epic Poetic Talent

Sunday 19 August 17:45 - 18:45

A captivating hour with award-winning playwright and poet Inua Ellams as he performs selections from his 2017 Ted Hughes Award shortlisted work #Afterhours. His residency at the Southbank Poetry Library took him on a voyage through time and place to the...