I am an award-winning writer and spoken word poet. In 2013, I was Scotland’s National Champion of Slam Poetry and 4th at the World Series of Slam Poetry in Paris. I’m also the author of a best-selling children’s picture book, I Love St Andrews, and a poetry pamphlet. Originally from Austin, Texas, I moved to Scotland in 2010 to study at the University of St Andrews and have been living here ever since.
I’m an experienced creative writing teacher and workshop leader. I currently teach Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde and I have worked with many different groups including: new women writers, refugees and asylum seekers, and primary and secondary school students.
About writer's work
My performance poetry is witty and personal, grappling with ideas of home, growing up, feminism and relationships. I’ve been a featured poet at dozens of locations around the UK and the US including Glastonbury Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, StAnza and two TedX conferences. See here for more about my performance history: https://carlyjbrown.com/slam-poetry/
I have a background competing in and organizing poetry slams. I was the winner of Scotland’s National Championships of Slam Poetry (2013) and placed 4th at the World Series of Slam Poetry in Paris. My poem ‘50 Shades’ (a feminist, literary critique of 50 Shades of Grey) was nominated for ‘Best Poem’ at the Edinburgh Festivals in 2015. In 2018, I was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and commended in the British Army’s Poetry Competition: Writing Armistice.
For my academic work, I was awarded a Country Scholarship Award from the University of Glasgow for my Creative Writing MLitt. I’m currently completing my Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow and working on a historical fiction novel set during the American Revolution. In 2016, I was awarded a month-long residential fellowship from the Robert H. Smith International Centre for Thomas Jefferson Studies at Monticello to conduct research for this novel.
Some lovely quotes about my work:
‘undiluted genius in both content and delivery’ – For Books’ Sake
‘wit, warmth and wisdom aplenty’ - The Scotsman
‘poise, lyricism, passion and humour’ – The StAnza Blog
‘a rising and unstoppable force within the Scottish scene’ – INK Scotland
‘a refreshing comedic integrity but also a brilliant truth that both enlightens and terrifies’ – Selcouth Station
Websites featuring the authorCarly Brown's WebsiteCarly Brown on TwitterSample Poetry Performance, 'Straight' Sample Poetry Performance, '50 Shades'
Current events and projects
I am available to do a variety of events including:
Poetry Performances – I’ve performed feature sets at various events, from literature festivals to graduation dinners. I can also theme my set around a particular topic for your event (previous themes I’ve created feature sets around include: literature, women’s history, love and relationships).
Poetry workshops for adults – I’ve led performance poetry workshops for women with Glasgow Women’s Library and I’ve also co-designed and co-led poetry workshops for refugees and asylum seekers at Glasgow Botanical Gardens. I’m open to working with various groups.
Poetry workshops for kids – I’ve led writing workshops at primary schools, often combining a reading of my picture book I Love St Andrews with a creative writing workshop encouraging students to write about their own ‘favourite places’.
Historical fiction workshops – I co-designed and co-led historical fiction writing workshops for teens with the Young Walter Scott Prize, which took place at historic homes in Scotland. I’m interested in creating more workshops involving history and place.
Judging/Hosting – I’m an experienced poetry slam judge, poetry editor and slam host. I judged the StAnza Poetry Slam and the Scottish National Slam and have hosted numerous slams in Scotland.
I’m also interested in other types of workshops, residencies and readings. Please feel free to get in touch even if your event doesn’t match any of the above.
My poetry, short fiction and journalism have been published in numerous places both in print and online. My poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Glasgow Review of Books, RAUM, Quotidian and Write to Be Counted: An Anthology of Poetry for Human Rights (The Book Mill, 2017). My prose has been featured in The Dangerous Women Project, The Transatlantic Literary Women Project and From Glasgow to Saturn.
I am also an Arts Features Writer for Broadway Baby magazine and was in-house blogger for StAnza Poetry Festival.
I’m passionate about bringing literature to as wide a community as possible. I have volunteered with Glasgow Women’s Library as a tour guide on their Women’s Heritage Walks and am currently co-piloting the Scottish Poetry Library’s Ambassadors Program.