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Hollie McNish Wins Arts Foundation Spoken Word Award 2015

6th Feb 2015

Hollie McNish Wins Arts Foundation Spoken Word Award 2015
The phenomenally talented Hollie McNish has beaten other shortlisted contenders to win the £10,000 Arts Foundation award – money that is aimed to help the winner take their work to the next level.

Spoken word are the true proverbial word(s) of the day, it seems. Just as we announced the launch of our very first spoken word night, one of our favourite spoken word artists has been recognised for her wordy wiles.

The other shortlisted spoken-word artists were Ross Sutherland, Jemima Foxtrot, Rob Auton and the wonderful Sabrina Mahfouz, who helped us celebrate our 4th birthday last year. These four poets all performed alongside McNish at the sold-out finalists’ event, chaired by Mark Grist at the South Bank Centre in London on 28th January 2015.

McNish said that she was ‘feeling slightly overwhelmed that I won it.’The Arts Foundation awarded the first ever substantial award in spoken word back in 2006 and since then the scene has changed massively, attracting a huge range of poets and fans, with artists creating their own YouTube channels, and spoken word nights being a common feature in the entertainment listings of many towns and cities across the country.

Speaking after the announcement, McNish said that she was ‘feeling slightly overwhelmed that I won it.’ She went on to comment, ‘There are so many amazing spoken-word artists, but there’s no real spoken word in the mainstream still [. . .] and I think all that just shows that it’s still the underdog and it needs to [. . .] get some more attention.’

The team here at For Books’ Sake have been watching Hollie McNish’s movements for a while and, as far as we’re concerned, she can’t move into the mainstream soon enough. If you’d like to see McNish performing live, watch out for her on tour in April and May, when she is playing fifteen dates around the UK and Ireland.