Hollie McNish bio

Hollie McNish

Hollie McNish is a published UK poet and spoken word artist who straddles the boundaries between the literary, poetic and pop scenes. She was UK Slam poetry champion in 2009, representing the UK and finishing 3rd behind Canada and the USA in the World Poetry Slam Finals in Paris. She has released two poetry albums, Touch and Push Kick, both to critical acclaim, and a first collection of written poetry, Papers, published by Greenwich Exchange, London. She is currently working on her third album.

Hollie's online videos have repeatedly gone viral, with Mathematics, a poem focusing on UK immigration, receiving over 1 million youtube views in just over a week. She has garnered titles like “chick of the week” (MTV), “internet sensation” (Best Daily)”, “British mum silences breastfeeding critics with passionate poem” (Closer), and poet Benjamin Zephaniah stated “I can't take my ears off her”. Her latest poem “Embarrassed” was tweeted to fans by renowned singer Pink.

Hollie performs in venues as diverse as Glastonbury festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scotts Jazz Bar, London's Southbank Centre and Cambridge University Her poems have appeared on Radio 4, XFM, MTV, Channel 4 and BBC 2. She has been commissiond by The Economist, Radio 4 Woman's Hour, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Channel 4 and with Apples and Snakes, the UK's leading performance poetry organization, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March.

As well as the UK, Hollie has toured and run residencies in Belgium, Australia, France, Germany and Portugal, and for the British Council in Latvia and Poland. She has won Substanz, Germany's largest poetry slam, as well as being crowned Latvia's Poetry Slam Champion in 2011. Although mainly in English, she also writes partially in French and German.

As well as performing, Hollie runs a poetry in education organization Page to Performance.

She is from Reading. Her parents are both from Glasgow. She graduated from Cambridge University in 2005 and has a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She lives between Cambridge, London and Glasgow with her kid and partner. She can do 50 keepy uppys on her knees but none on her feet. Her favourite poet is Barry McGuire.

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