Reviews

“Witty and wise, ‘Outwith’ gives us an outside look at ourselves, and the things we take for granted, like words that no-one outside Scotland uses. Katie Ailes – ‘all rude American brass’ when she arrived – writes with an obvious natural verve and insight.”

—James Naughtie on “Outwith” for Best of the Best Scottish Poems, 25 Jan. 2019

“[T]he sharp-edged and witty delivery of Katie Ailes highlights her as a key figure on the spoken word scene. Her final poem, discussing the influence of her father on her life, exudes an incredible gravity and picks at the most sacred parts of the listeners’ hearts.”

— Brooke Stanish reviewing Loud Poets: To Infinity and Beyond for The Student, 25 Sep. 2018

“The lyrical eloquence of Katie Ailes is remarkable: during the performance she speaks of refugees and recites a poem to her daughter. Her writing touches these subjects lightly, never clumsily raging but entreating us to feel like her – something you cannot help but do.”

Caitlin Powell reviewing Loud Poets at the Edinburgh Fringe for The Student, 16 Aug. 2017

“A definitive highlight is a dance/film poem piece from Katie Ailes [“Polos”]. She performs an eloquent dance in front of a projected film of herself reading a poem. The result is a mesmerising love letter to her dance teacher.”

—Steven Fraser reviewing Hidden Door Festival for The Wee Review, 29 May 2017

“This poem by American Katie Ailes – a spoken word performance poet whose work also reads beautifully on the page – is a captivating, fond, witty piece about the absorption and use of language and accent and becoming part of a culture.”

—Catherine Lockerbie on “Outwith” for Best Scottish Poems 2016

Katie Ailes continues to recite memories of her own in a manner that makes the listener think it was their childhoods, puberty, and adolescence. Katie’s delivery is one of such charming effect that the band behind her melts into the stories that the audience feasts on, digesting the morals which are conjured up about learning, music, creativity, and love.”

—Stephen Watt reviewing Loud Poets: Exile on Sauchiehall St. for The Mumble, 10 June 2016

“Our headliner was American poet, Katie Ailes, one of the Loud Poets, with a powerful and dramatic set. Her letter for the daughter she might have in the future was intensely moving.”

—Jean Rafferty recounting the Worldwide Reading for Ashraf Fayadh (Scottish PEN), 4 Feb. 2016

“Katie Ailes’ Homing is a transition between the borders of the homes we create for ourselves – whether they be stemmed from childhood or ones we find along the way as our lives begin to take shape.”

—Jade Mitchell reviewing Homing for Words Dance, 21 Oct. 2015