Cabaret, in case you ever wondered, refers to an intimate night spot where audiences enjoy alcoholic drinks while listening to short programmes of entertainment. It naturally entails then, as you will have deduced, that when cabaret features at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, literature is the entertainment, and there is no more natural home than the Charlotte Square Spiegeltent.
Homework is a literary cabaret club housed in East London (yeah), but whose resident literary heavyweights regularly feature at the UK's best festivals – Latitude, Port Eliot, Glastonbury to name a few. A bit like the Travelling Wilburys of poetry, the residents of Homework, also known as Aisle16, are a strong collective but redoubtable individuals too. Some of these fellows actually referred to themselves as a Poetry Boyband – fortunately they outgrew themselves pretty quickly.
Joe Dunthorne, writer of 2011’s indie masterpiece Submarine and whose latest novel, Wild Abandon is shortlisted for this year’s Welsh book of the year (winner announced in July). In the footsteps of Dave Eggers’ 826 schools, Dunthorne helped to set up Hoxton Street Monster Supplies which, through its secret door, is also home to the Ministry of Stories where young people drop in to read and write and are encouraged to develop creative writing skills. @JoeDunthorne
Tim Clare, poet – though this suffix is a misnomer, or at least an underrepresentation. Tim Clare is prolific and the best kind of eccentric: creator of the Poetry Takeaway, the world's first ‘mobile poetry emporium’; the man behind the 101 Poems in a Day project; a Fringe debutant in 2010 with 5 star show Death Drive; blogger, author; musician. You get the drift. @TimClarePoet
John Osborne, author of Radio Head, The New Blur Album and the poetry collection What If Men Burst In Wearing Balaclavas? is perhaps most curiously known for John Peel's Shed. Ten years ago Osborne won a competition by writing the best slogan for the John Peel show. The prize, a box of records, was the impetus to muse on how radio has affected his life. And of course John Peel's Shed has now been adapted for radio (BBC4). @JohnOsRadioHead
The fourth resident of the East London literary collective is Edinburgh local, Ross Sutherland, who takes poetry to places unknown (ref: Poem for iTunes Shuffle, whereby Sutherland has created interlocking stanzas than can be shuffled and played in any order) and perhaps best known for How to Write Badly Well. @RossGSutherland