• John Dempster

Writing for Performance with Carly Brown




We’re so grateful to Carly Brown for leading a brilliant HighlandLIT workshop on Tuesday evening on the theme of ‘Writing for Performance’.


Originally from Austin, Texas and now living in Edinburgh, Carly is known for her lively and witty spoken word poetry which, she says grapples ‘with ideas of home, growing up, feminism, and relationships.’ She has performed at Glastonbury Festival, StAnza Poetry Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. She is the author of a bestselling children’s picture book, I Love St Andrews, and a debut poetry pamphlet, Grown Up Poetry Needs to Leave Me Alone.


Carly opened the evening by performing one of her own poems, and then led a discussion of the skills which maximise the impact of a performance poem – including body language, facial expressions and gestures, rhythm and pace, use of different voices, eye contact, humour, repetition.


In the second half it was over to the audience, in the room and on-line. We were challenged to write our own performance poem in just 20 minutes, and subsequently four of us were brave enough to read out pieces! Carly offered sensitive and encouraging comments about our work.

Thank you Carly for this masterclass in exploring the use of words well-chosen and well-deployed, and in having our bodies ‘in the room with us’, allowing ‘our physicality’ to shape the poem’s meaning.


Carly is pictured with HighlandLIT Committee Member Scott Fraser, who chaired the event as well as managing the Zoom technology.






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