An Interview With Hannah Lavery!

Coming up on Friday 14th October at the first of our regular Revue shows, we’re delighted to have newcomer Hannah Lavery in our first ever ‘Flint & Pitch Floorspot”! This part of the event is to showcase the best up-and-coming voices on the spoken word scene, and Hannah is definitely that! Chris Scott spoke to her about her influences, how she feels about the show, and much more! Tickets for the Revue can be bought here:

hannah lavery

CS: As a relative newcomer to the scene, can you give our audience an idea of

your background?

HL: Okay….Yikes!… I am an Edinburgh girl living in a wee town in East Lothian, I am a mother of three… thrilled to be out the house…and of course, a whole heap more. I am a writer, a hat I have been trying on and taking off, trying on, taking off for a while. Over the last three years I have been writing, performing, and developing my work, especially the work of my first show and pamphlet, The Drift. This year, feels like the time to finally take it out and share it with more audiences.


CS: The poems in The Drift deal with issues that are very prevalent for Flint & Pitch’s collaborative

show with the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. Can you tell us more?

HL: Indeed. The Drift is the work of the last two years, poems written in the avalanche of grief; the disorientation and grief that buried me after my father suddenly died in 2014. It is all of that, all the black night of losing a parent, and for me, losing a parent I never really had. It’s really about all of the things I let go of and held on to as I was digging myself out…I think… but maybe it’s best for others to say what it is…I am maybe not the one to ask.


CS: As someone who writes poetry, prose, and plays, your writing and performances crosses

boundaries. Is there one of these artforms that you enjoy creating work in over others, or are all

an equal focus as your writing develops?

HL: No, not really any reason. It just happens that way. I didn’t realise I was crossing boundaries to be honest! I‘ve never really followed any route as such, I left school at 16, started to write poems and plays whilst working night shifts, never with any ambition apart from avoiding the madness. I never realised you couldn’t just write whatever youwanted to, a play, a poem, a story, but maybe I should stick with one for a bit, see if I can get a proper hold, although, I am not sure I will… I don’t think I will.


CS: You founded a Literary Festival (CoastWord, in Dunbar), which not many people

can say.  What led to you to that?

HL: CoastWord or, as it was at first, The Wee Fest of Words, is a micro fest in Sunny Dunbar. It was at first a mad idea to have some local poets and musicians talking, a choir singing with poets on the harbour, a poem or two in the local park, it was never a ‘literary festival’ as such, it was just me and my double buggy, doing some ‘wordy thing’ for Civic Week and now four years later and joined by local poet Roy Moller, musicians Carey Lunan and John Hardman and the great Colin Will it has developed into weekend of delights, spoken word at the heart of it, with workshops, and lots of wonderful music. It is a beautiful thing. In 2017 we are looking at our links with Newcastle and with our two wonderful writers in residence, Catherine Simpson and Kirsty Law we have much to look forward to.


CS: How do you feel about being part of the first regular Flint & Pitch Revue line-up?

HL: I am thrilled, absolutely delighted to have been given such an opportunity and what an amazing line-up to be part of, and also the Revue as part The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival feels really important. My recent writing about grief is at times hard to share because it feels so unsaid, so unwelcome and so I am honoured and really grateful to be given the platform.


CS: And finally, tell us about some of the spoken word poets and performers who have inspired you on the scene?

HL: I have always been influenced by the spoken word, from the audio recordings of Maya Angelou, seeing Jackie Kay and Janice Galloway read at events in Edinburgh in the 90s, lots of theatre, to the whole Spoken Word scene which is something I am only now starting to get to know. As I am not really a  Youtube follower, my favourites are those I manage to see live and I have been really inspired by Jenny Lindsay,  Rachel McCrum, Francesca Beard, Salena Godden, Hollie McNish, Kevin Gilday and Micheal Pedersen, in fact, I am rarely unmoved by hearing people read their work, it is always a privilege.




Get your tickets to catch Hannah alongside Harry Giles, Chitra Ramaswamy, Finn LeMarinel and Jo Mango! Jenny Lindsay comperes. £6.


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