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BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer Of The Year 2018, Karine Polwart is a multi-award-winning Scottish songwriter and musician, as well as theatre-maker, storyteller, spoken-word performer and published essayist. Her songs combine folk influences and myth with themes as diverse as Donald Trump’s corporate megalomania, Charles Darwin’s family life and the complexities of modern parenthood. She sings traditional songs too and writes to commission for theatre, animation and thematic collaborative projects. Karine is seven-times winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including three times for Best Original Song.  



We are each other’s wind resistance, a human skein. 
And we’re not going to make it on our own. 

from Wind Resistance 


Dear people, 

I hope you’re with the ones you love, in the places you know and understand best.  

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Next Shows


EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY | Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre, 32 George Square, EDINBURGH, EH8 9LH

Karine will give the Rebellious Truth Lecture which explores the importance of traditional arts and the role of traditional artists of all backgrounds and practices in addressing societal concerns: environment, sustainability, identity, social cohesion, health, understandings of economy, employment, education, and diversity.

To see beyond this moment: Singing the space between those gone before and those yet to come.

"Traditional songs and stories are traces of other lives, other times, other values. To me, they bring the flesh of our forebears close and inspire gratitude for the individual and collective acts of resistance and resilience that ultimately gift us our rights and privileges, here and now. But they also offer evidence of profound environmental and societal shifts, which render once familiar landscapes and ecologies fragile and strange.

All of my writing and performing now, across song, story, theatre and books, is about bridging what’s gone before and what might yet come. I draw on tradition to say something about the moment we’re in now, about the possible futures we’re making for subsequent generations, and about the power we have to make a difference”