Pure poetry with Hollie at Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer night

Award-winning poet Hollie McNishAward-winning poet Hollie McNish
Award-winning poet Hollie McNish
James Yorkston’s ‘Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer’ series will continue this weekend with one of the UK’s most revered writers heading the bill.

Poet Hollie McNish, winner of the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2017, will be joined by award-winning folk brothers Ye Vagabonds and the newly forged duo of Nancy Kerr & Luke Daniels this Saturday night at 8pm.

Hollie tours continuously all over the UK and Europe, she spoke to the Press from Belfast airport, and has a huge online following having attracted millions of views worldwide with her poetry videos.

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Hollie first tried poetry in 2010 then a couple of years later was making enough money from gigs that she was able to quit her various day jobs to concentrate on writing full-time.

Ye VagabondsYe Vagabonds
Ye Vagabonds

She says she’s been gigging a lot in 2019 but is gradually coming to a halt.

“I’ve got five more gigs left this year but I’m having to slow it down because I’ve got the edit of my next book to finish,” she said.

When asked about the difference between writing and performing she added: “I don’t know if I would call myself a performer so much, I don’t want to disappoint people!

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“I just stand on stage and chat a bit and read from my books. I am quite chatty on stage. I don’t like people sitting in the audience not knowing what a poem is about.

“Some people say that if a poem is good enough it should speak for itself and you shouldn’t have to do an introduction but I disagree.

“I think if you’re listening to it at a gig, you can’t repeat it and read it ten times from the page, so I like to have a bit of a chat beforehand so people aren’t lost in it.”

Hollie’s poetry explores a range of topics which she is keen to display during one of her gigs.

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“If I’m doing a gig I choose poems on different themes to read out, there are some that will generally get a laugh.

“A lot of them are called “taboo” poems when I read about them in interviews, but that’s basically just because I talk about sex which I think probably shouldn’t be taboo anymore!

“Some of them are two minutes long, some of them are 20 seconds long, but I tend to try and change them around from set to set.”

As for Kirkcaldy, Hollie says that Scotland is one of her favourite places to visit.

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“My mum and dad are both from Glasgow so I’m up in Scotland all the time seeing family and I love doing Scottish gigs for that reason.

“I also really like doing gigs when it’s not just me! On tour it’s usually just me and one support poet, so this will be like a night out for me.

“It’s the best thing when you do a gig like this and there are other people for you to watch and I love going to see live music.

“I haven’t seen Ye Vagabonds or Nancy Kerr and Luke Daniels before so that’s even more exciting.”

• Tickets are on sale in person at the Adam Smith box office and available online via onfife.com.

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