Shore Poets is always on the lookout for talented poets who would like to read their work to our appreciative audiences.
With a few exceptions for special events, we have three poets per evening: a Shore Poet, a New Poet, and a Headline Poet. If you have not read with us before, then you’ll most likely be a New Poet. (This isn’t in reference to how long you’ve been writing; it’s more that you’re new to us!) We tend to draw up preliminary lists of New Poets and Headline Poets in June for the following season, but you’re welcome to contact us at any point during the year if you’re interested in being considered, as we do sometimes have spots open up. Please don’t feel it’s a personal slight if we’re unable to accept you; we regularly have twenty or more poets express interest. If you aren’t selected, we are more than happy to consider you for a subsequent year, so please drop us another note.
Another option is to participate in our annual open night, which usually occurs in April (but keep an eye on our schedule). Poets have the opportunity to read a short selection of their work. You are welcome to contact us to express an interest in this; while slots do fill up quickly, we find that there are usually last-minute drop-outs, so there might be slots available close to the time. Open night readers are automatically considered for New Poet slots in the following season, but again, we simply don’t have enough room for all the poets we’d like to include.
In the 2014-2015 season we introduced a Quiet Slam, which generally happens in October. While this is indeed a poetry slam, reading from the page is encouraged (though more traditional slam-style poetry is fine). In order to give everyone the best possible chance at impressing the judges, every slammer performs twice, and the top-scoring three poets go into the final. (Scores are not made public.) All finalists receive prizes, and the slam winner is eligible to compete in the Scottish Slam Championships.
Finally, many of our evenings have a wildcard spot. Bring a poem to one of our events and, at the door, put your name in the hat – feel free to ask if we have a wildcard spot that evening as occasionally we forget to ask everyone. (Sometimes we don’t have one if we have a very busy evening.) We’ll draw a name early in the evening, and you can read for up to three minutes!
If you’re interested in any of these opportunities, email us at shorepoetsedinburgh (at) gmail.com (remove the spaces). Please give us an idea of your background and what you’ve been up to poetry-wise, and you can send us links to your work or a small sample. It is not necessary to have been published or to have given a reading before. All we’re looking for is good poetry and a willingness to present it to the public.