Poetry Bio

Supporting Shane Koyczan in Glasgow, 2017. Photo: Perry Jonsson.

My creative practice is a dance on borderlines: an exploration of the rich interplay between ‘page’ and ‘stage’ poetics. I compose poetry for both print publication and live, embodied performance, with many of my pieces existing simultaneously (if differently) in both mediums. While I use different techniques in composing these works, I generally don’t perceive ‘page’ and ‘stage’ poetry as separate art forms. Instead, I enjoy playing at the boundaries between them: composing work on the page then speaking it aloud until it finds its rhythm and discovering innovative ways to convey in textual form some of the power of performance work.

Since 2015 I have collaborated and performed with Scottish company I Am Loud Productions (Loud Poets) including co-devising and performing in our monthly showcases, touring to the Brighton, Prague, and Edinburgh Fringe festivals, and developing commissioned work. I placed second in the 2015 Scottish Slam Championships. I have performed at events across the UK, including StAnza (Scotland’s Festival for Poetry), the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and events organised by the Scottish Government, National Museums Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust, the Centre for Poetic Innovation, Scottish PEN, and the National Library of Scotland.

In 2015-16 I was awarded a place in the Clydebuilt Mentoring Scheme run through St. Mungo’s Mirrorball, where I worked with four other Glasgow-based poets and Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead to develop new work.

My poem “Outwith” was chosen as one of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems of 2016 and in 2019 it was selected from the past 15 years’ lists as one of the Best of the Best Scottish Poems. I self-published my first pamphlet, Homing, in August 2015. In 2016 I was published in the new series House of Three anthologising female Scotland-based poets. My work has been published in The Herald, Gutter, A Year of Scottish Poems (Macmillan), Glasgow Women Poets (Four-em Press), Quotidian Magazine, and more.

To enquire about bookings and commissions, please use the Contact form on this website or email me directly at kathryn.a.ailes (at) gmail.com.