We are really excited that Hollie McNish, a widely celebrated poet and spoken-word artist, is to perform as part of our 'WE ARE POETS 19' programme.  All our events and programmes, which will be held throughout the month of November as part of Derry City and Strabane's District Council's Youth 19 initiative, are designed to promote the voices, needs, rights and well-being of young people in their community highlighting their contribution and support their participation and confidence to develop skills and MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN. 


Hollie was born in 1984 and lives near Cambridge, England. She writes, performs, and runs Page to Performance, working with schools and organisations to deliver spoken-word workshops for young people. 

Winning the 2009 UK Poetry Slam, McNish went on to publish five books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Plum (2017) is a pithy and heartfelt tackling of childhood memories, early adulthood, and growing up.

Her earlier collections are Papers (2012), Cherry Pie (2015), Why I Ride (2015), and Nobody Told Me, a sincere reflection on early motherhood in contemporary Britain made up of poems and personal diary entries, for which she received the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016.  

Additionally, McNish released Versus - an album of spoken-word and music - in 2014, received The Arts Foundation Fellowship in 2015, and co-wrote the play Offside with Sabrina Mahfouz, performed 2017. She has collaborated with other renowned artists including Kate Tempest and George the Poet, and has been frequently featured on BBC programmes, including the series Becoming a Mother: A Hot Cup of Tea with Hollie McNish, broadcast via Woman’s Hour in 2016.  

McNish’s career embodies a powerful embrace of online platforms, her poem “Mathematics” currently at 2.1million views on Youtube, and “Embarrassed”  at 1.4million. This attention attests, of course, to a deep and wide-spread resonance of her work among young and contemporary audiences. 

"She writes with honesty, conviction, humour and love. She points out the absurdities we've grown too used to and lets us see the world with fresh eyes." Kate Tempest (on Plum)!


Hollie McNish is set to perform in Verbal on 6th November at 7pm.

With support from slammer Michael Wilson, author of Bedlam's Best and Finest and winner of this year's Belfast Book Festival Slam, this very special event is not to be missed!

This event is for 14 to 24 year-olds. 

Admission is free but secure your place here,

Click here to find our more about 'WE ARE POETS 19'