Harry Giles is from Orkney, Scotland, and is a poet, performance-maker and general doer of things. He has lived on four islands, each larger than the last. He trained in Theatre Directing (MA with Merit, East 15 Acting School, 2010) and Sustainable Development (MA 1st Class, University of St Andrews, 2009) and his work generally happens in the places where performance and politics cross paths.
Here is a dossier of cultural capital:
As a performance-maker, Harry has been programmed by festivals and venues including the Soho Theatre, the Ovalhouse, Forest Fringe and Sprint. His performance lecture This is not a riot toured to Italy in 2012, and his one-to-one show What We Owe toured the European Imagine 2020 venues in 2013. What We Owe was listed in the Guardian’s “Best of the Edinburgh Fringe” round-up in the “But is it art section”.
As a poet, Harry has given feature performances at nights including Chill Pill and JibbaJabba; hosted events at festivals from StAnza to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, won multiple slams including the UK Student Slam (2008), the BBC Scotland Slam (2009), the Glasgow Slam (2010); and been published in journals including Magma, Gutter, PANK and New Writing Scotland. His pamphlet Visa Wedding was published by Stewed Rhubarb in 2012. Sabotage Reviews said that it “seems to veer between an intellectual, formal severity and a desire to celebrate, a naughtiness that charms”, and also that it “feels a bit as if he’s lashed himself to the mast of anarchism”. He won the IdeasTap National Poetry Competition in 2012, and in 2014 was on the shortlist of 6 for the UK’s biggest poetry prize, the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.
Harry has developed and delivered workshops for organisations including Keats House, People & Planet, and the Edinburgh International Science Festival. He’s designed participatory games for the Scottish Book Trust and Hatch Nottingham. He was artist-in-residence for Govanhill Baths in 2013, and with the Crichton Carbon Centre for Nil By Mouth in 2013-14.
In Edinburgh, Harry founded Inky Fingers, a nationally-funded spoken word events organisation, co-directs the quarterly performance art platform ANATOMY at Summerhall, and is part of the collective behind the Forest Café, Edinburgh’s open access arts space.
Sometimes other things happen. He used to write interactive fiction and sometimes appears as a rebel clown. He tweets too much. He gets enthusiastic about half the world and furious about the other half. His emails have too many exclamation marks in.