Push The Boat Out

Edinburgh’s International Poetry Festival

Poetry is everywhere. It’s the lyrics of the song that’s stuck in your head, the rhythms of speech in an overheard conversation, the way we tell our stories, the histories of the buildings around us. That’s what Push The Boat Out is all about. Words, how we use them, and what they mean to us.

From poetry readings and discussions, to new commissions, singer-songwriter circles, music hybrid events, dance and hip hop, poetic cocktail-making classes, film screenings,  beach walks, panels, workshops and development opportunities – this vibrant, multi-layered, polyphonic line-up is a true fiesta of the vernacular with something for everyone and anyone.

Push the Boat 2024 dates coming soon.

About the Festival

In some ways, there’s never been a more interesting time for poetry. From time immemorial we’ve looked to poetry and story to help us interpret and understand the world around us; right now there is an ever increasing richness of artists doing just that in powerful and diverse ways, resonating with wider and wider audiences in the process. Push the Boat Out is proud to bring together artists both established and new in the game, and to create a platform for new connections, experiences and inspiration. We know there’s an audience out there who want to experience poetry as a live artform, who are moved by words and language in all their glorious forms, and this festival creates the space for you to do just that.

Join us at our monthly Rock the Boat Open Mic, explore our engagement work or get in touch to see how you can play a part in our story.

Push the Boat 2024 dates coming soon.  Get in the boat, compañeros! 

Join our next online workshop

Our online workshops are a brilliant opportunity to come together with other writers and experiment with your own practice in a friendly and supportive environment. Join us on 31 July for a session led by Beverley Bie Brahic looking at drawing objects in words. We’ll read and discuss two or three example poems for inspiration then have a go at writing our own object poem

Find out more

Apply for a 2024 festival commission

PUSH THE BOAT OUT, in association with the National Theatre of Scotland, is looking to support the creation of three new poetry-led performance pieces, responding to the prompt Living Water. Three £1,500 commissions are available for Scotland based artists or groups of artists working in poetry or a related art form, to each produce a new 15 to 20 minute piece to be performed at Push the Boat Out festival in November.

We’re excited to receive your applications by 15th July 2024.

Find out more

Check out the full Programme

2023 Programme

Thanks to the supporters who have made the 2023 festival possible

Poetry on your wavelength…

Push the Boat Out, Edinburgh’s International Poetry Festival, launches its programme on International Poetry Day, Thursday 5th October.

Check out the line up: https://pushtheboatout.org/Programme/

2023 Programme