Awarded young performers Jay Bernard and Debris Stevenson unleash dynamism in this exciting A Toast to the People offering.
Join Jay Bernard and Debris Stevenson for an electric night of performance poetry and spoken word in the International Festival’s Old College Quad venue. Expect this spoken word event by two of today’s most exciting young performers to be nothing short of compelling.
Jay Bernard is a writer and inter-disciplinary artist whose rigorous and impactful work is rooted in social history. Their debut collection Surge won the 2017 Ted Hughes Award and they were named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2020. Bernard introduces their specially commissioned work, which will be performed by another performer, before taking part in the event’s discussion session.
This A Toast to the People event brings Bernard together with Debris Stevenson, a dyslexic academic, Grime-poet and Bashment dancing social activist whose work explores the intersectional, unexpected and unjust. Her Grime musical, Poet in da Corner, (Royal Court) received critical acclaim and toured nationally alongside the show’s album release in 2020. Stevenson is currently developing several TV shows, a play for Hightide Theatre and The Write to Rave, an immersive play exploring raving as radicalism.
A Toast to the People brings together two spoken word artists, each performing their own set of performance poetry that includes a specially commissioned piece inspired by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s ‘A Toast to the People’. Following their sets, the two artists take part in an exclusive discussion about their work and the pervading issues and themes of today.
Please note that Jefferson Tshabalala was originally scheduled to perform on this date. We are very grateful to Debris Stevenson for stepping in to replace him.
In partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival
Made possible through the PLACE programme
Nadine Aisha Jassat Host