Harry Josephine Giles

Multiplatform poet and performer, making strange, delightful and political interventions

Born in London, England. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, now living in Edinburgh. They have lived on four islands, each larger than the last. They have a MA in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School are studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling. Harry Josephine's work generally happens in the crunchy places where performance and politics get muddled up.

As a poet, Harry Josephine has toured North America, given feature sets at venues from the Bowery Poetry Club to the Soho Theatre, performed at festivals from the London Book Fair to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, and won multiple slams including the BBC Scotland Slam 2009. They won the IdeasTap National Poetry Competition in 2012, and both their poetry books — Tonguit (Freight Books 2015) and The Games (Out-Spoken Press 2018) — were shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, with Tonguit also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

As a theatre artist, Harry Josephine has been featured in the SPILL National Platform, and at festivals including Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia), CrisisArt (Italy) and Teszt (Romania). Their one-to-one show What We Owe was listed in the Guardian’s “Best of the Edinburgh Fringe” round-up – in the “But is it art?” section. They are currently touring the multimedia poetry show Drone which will feature at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019.

Harry spoke to the Scottish Poetry Library in this podcast about politics, a messy take on the Scots language, and the time the Daily Mail called them 'vile'.

Forward-shortlisted poet Harry Giles chats to Laura Waddell about Tonguit from Freight Books on Vimeo.

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