Harry Josephine Giles

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, based in Edinburgh, and studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Stirling. Their latest publication is The Games from Out-Spoken Press, shortlisted for the 2016 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and they were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion. Harry Josephine founded Inky Fingers Spoken Word and co-directs the performance platform Anatomy; their participatory theatre has toured festivals across Europe, including Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia) and CrisisArt (Italy); and their performance What We Owe was picked by the Guardian's best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the 'But Is It Art?' category.


Harry Josephine Giles, holding a teacup and looking to the side of the camera

Photo: Rich Dyson


Breakfast at the Poetry Café: Another Place »


Enjoy your breakfast sunny side up at the festival’s Poetry Café

[This link will be live once the event starts, with all the poetry and chat, but alas not the pastries!]


Fri 8 March | 10:00 - 11:10 | £4.75/£3.75 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre



          We acknowledge the baffling circulation of things:
things carrying guilt like a dead bird, things hidden in bin liners
          so they might not be seen, things unrotting in whorls in new islands,
things sheltered by sofas, things sick with dust in the dark of the shelf,
          precious things beaten into roofs, hated things beaten into walls,
things blasted through bushes, things so terrible with memory
          they cannot be given and cannot be kept, things left, things passed,
things past, things never, things regretted, things missed, things lost, things
          held in the heart for a decade then spelled away as if they never pumped blood,
things wanted, things wanted with the thirst of furious hells, then got, then got,
          then dropped in disgust, things landfilled as riddles for history,
things buried in archaeological lasagna, parfait, dirt, tax, things broken
          and zombied with thick black tape and broken, poor things,
things who took responsibility, for whom responsibility was taken, for whom
          responsibility was a ghost, present, felt, unseen, thrice denied,
things made with craft indistinguishable from magic, things made by robotic arms
          that took what care they could take, things given, things given away,
things given new life, things allowed to live seventeen lives, things glut
          with life, vampire things sucking heat from the air – say how many fantasy
things can we name – things not of this world, alien things, imagined things,
          horror things, things reflected through fiction, things turning,
things churning through the reality of things until reality is only a matter of things,
          like that film, you remember the one, the rust, the heaps, the treasure, the
things, the glossy white absence of things, the ache for meaning in things, the marriage
          of thing and unthing. These we acknowledge. We acknowledge that
things move beyond our powers, we are ruling, ruled. Here we pray:
          deliver unto us only the things that we need and no more.


Harry Giles

From The Games (Out-Spoken Press, 2018)