The collective of wordsmiths known as Writers' Bloc are moving into new territory for their show at Jura Unbound this year. We caught up with them to find out a bit more.
Tell us a bit about the night in general: what is Writers' Bloc and where did it all start?
Writers' Bloc is a mix of professional writers and new voices. It staged its first show in Edinburgh on Halloween 2001. At that time there wasn't really a spoken word ‘scene’ in the sense that it exists today – the events there were mainly poetry ones and we wanted to present stories with genre leanings and a bit of an edge. Since then we've done quite a few festivals and toured throughout Scotland. We did Unbound in 2010 and 2011, and we’re glad to be back.
What’s a regular Writers' Bloc night like?
Normally we would present a themed programme of new short fiction, blending humour and crowd-pleasers with more serious work. Previous themes have included B-movies, intoxication, fast food, and antisocial networking. Our last event was a full-on literary séance where we summoned the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson and a long-dead rollergirl, among others.
Sounds excellent. What have you got planned for Jura Unbound, and how is it different from the usual nights you put on?
This year we’re we're doing something a bit different. Or quite a lot different, really, because we’re taking our cues from musicians John Lemke and Poppy Ackroyd. In TV and film, musicians have to work to the framework provided by the writer; we're turning that on its head and presenting new spoken word inspired by their debut albums: Poppy's Escapement and John's People Do. It won’t be so much a typical Writers' Bloc show as a Poppy and John gig with spoken word.