book, performances, projects, Scotland, upcoming

We’re going on TOUR!

In These Days of Prohibition // The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate

Caroline Bird & Rachel McCrum


Award-winning poets and performers Caroline Bird and Rachel McCrum have teamed up for a double-headliner spoken word tour, launching their new poetry books: In These Days of Prohibition (Caroline Bird, Carcanet Press) and The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate (Rachel McCrum, Freight Books).

They’ll be touring venues in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in August and September 2017, with shows in Sheffield, Hebden BridgeBristol, Dundee, Edinburgh and more!  Caroline and Rachel are delighted to be working with some of the best spoken word promoters, producers and venues in the country for this tour…read on for more info, venue details, times, dates and ticket links!




In These Days of Prohibition – Caroline Bird (Carcanet Press, July 2017)CarolineBird1

In her fifth collection of poetry Caroline Bird surrenders her poetic weaponry and goes on a quest to write the ‘simple truth’. The surreal imagery of her early work is re-deployed to venture into the badlands of the human psyche. Her poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us living. In These Days of Prohibition are days of intoxication and inebriation, rehab in a desert and adultery for atheists, until finally Bird edges us out of danger, ‘revving on a wish’.

‘What an original captivating and spellbinding voice. Bird is fearless like ‘the girl who dropped her ice-cream down a volcano and leaped in after it’. She is dangerous and witty too with a rare quality of imagination. This is a wonder…’ Lemn Sissay

Rachel McCrum -The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate (Freight Books, July 2017)


The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate is the eagerly anticipated debut collection from the award-winning Rachel McCrum. Recognised as one of Scotland’s highest profile poets and performers and co-founder of cult spoken word night Rally & Broad, her first collections asks questions of displacement and of the elasticity of space; of human defensivenes and of animal aggression; of inertia and movement: of threat and of resistance. What happens when we raise our voices? What happens when we are no longer heard?

‘This is angry poetry, hungry poetry but never lean, mean poetry – she salivates and slavers, at times stretching language almost to breaking point, stuffing it full till it’s almost spilling through the slits in meaning, the five sound senses singing out generous, gargantuan and gorgeous in lists and litanies, polemics and parables; this is poetry that performs itself on the page out loud and proud – then can turn on a sixpence and stop the heart with a sudden, spare moment of naked vulnerability and tenderness.’ Liz Lochhead

Rachel will also be presenting some solo performances:



Bio: Caroline Bird


Caroline Bird is an award-winning poet. Her first collection Looking Through Letterboxes was published in 2002 when she was 15. Her second collection, Trouble Came to the Turnip, was published in September 2006 to critical acclaim. Watering Can (2009) achieved a ‘Poetry Book Society Recommendation’ and her fourth collection, The Hat-Stand Union, (2013) was described by Simon Armitage as ‘spring-loaded, funny, sad and deadly.’ She won a major Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and was short-listed for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001. She was short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008 and 2010. She was one of the five official poets at London Olympics 2012 and her poem, The Fun Palace, which celebrates the life and work of Joan Littlewood, is still erected on the Olympic Site outside the main stadium. Caroline is also a playwright. Her new version of The Trojan Women premiered at the Gate Theatre in 2012. Her original play, Chamber Piece, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize 2014, and toured as part of Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre season. In 2013, she was short-listed for Most Promising New Playwright at the Off-West-End Awards. She wrote a radical new adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for Northern Stage in 2015 and she is currently writing the book and lyrics for Dennis the Menace The Musical for the Old Vic.

For more information, see


Bio: Rachel McCrumRachelMcCrum2ChrisScott

Rachel McCrum is a poet, performer and workshop teacher who has worked across Scotland, Montreal, Haiti, South Africa, Greece and Northern Ireland. She won the Callum MacDonald Award for her first pamphlet The Glassblower Dances in 2012; produced her first solo show for the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 based on her pamphlet Do Not Alight Here Again; was the first ever BBC Scotland Poet In Residence in 2015 and was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2016. She was a founding member of Stewed Rhubarb Press and the SHIFT/ Poetry Collective; and was the Broad of acclaimed Scottish spoken word cabaret Rally and Broad (The List Hot 100 #12 in 2015). She has performed at Latitude, Wickerman, StAnza, La Festival de la Poesie, Les Nuits Amerindiennes and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, is a member of poetry collective ‘ La Poesie Partout’ and co ordinates the cinepoems/All These New Relations project with Glasgow poet Calum Rodger and Montreal poet Jonathan Lamy. The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate is her first collection.

To contact Rachel, please email: