In 2014, Katie Ailes moved from the US to Scotland on a UK-US Fulbright Award to research poetry written for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum for a MRes at the University of Strathclyde. She is currently pursuing her PhD in English at Strathclyde, focusing on the performance of authentic selfhood in contemporary U.K. spoken word poetry.
An active spoken word artist, Katie placed second in the 2015 Scottish National Poetry Slam and has performed across the U.K., including at the StAnza and Wickerman festivals, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Rally & Broad, Flint & Pitch, and St. Mungo’s Mirrorball. She organises, composes, and performs with the spoken word collective Loud Poets, including touring with them to the Brighton, Prague, and Edinburgh festivals. She is a former co-editor of Quotidian literary magazine and is currently co-piloting the Scottish Poetry Library Ambassadors programme. She co-organised the Poetic Politics conference at the National Library of Scotland (September 2015) and co-edited the anthology Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry (Luath Press, 2016). She published her first collection, Homing, in 2015, and was published both in the anthology House of Three, vol 3 (Hybrid Press) and Glasgow Women Poets (Glasgow: Four-em Press) in 2016. Katie was mentored by Liz Lochhead through the 2015-16 Clydebuilt programme.