Hollie McNish is a writer who loves writing. For all enquiries or bookings, please contact: Oli@pagetoperformance.org

Books (English)

Plum: http://bit.ly/2jT6KPP
Nobody Told Me: http://fal.cn/Kbvi
Cherry Pie: http://bit.ly/1x1PuvU

Versus: https://holliemcnish.bandcamp.com/merch/versus-double-cd-signed-by-the-poet

Available on iTunes here: http://po.st/HPDownload and Amazon here: http://po.st/HPAmazon. © Yup! Records

Books (other languages)

Nadie Me Dijo (Spanish translation of Nobody Told Me: http://www.dallowayediciones.com/producto/pack-nadie-me-dijo-criar-y-crear-tote-bag-mostaza/

Personne ne m’a dit (French Translation of Nobody Told Me:

9781509815760plumThe BookNobody Told Menadie-me-dijo-tote-bag_2.jpgpersonnenemadit

338 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ll be eternally grateful to the friend who sent me a link to Mathematics on youtube! One minute I’m oblivious… suddenly I’m overwhelmed to have found such an amazing talent, wordsmith, and visionary! I love your politics, I love your eloquence, your wit and wisdom, and I love how you say things in ways I’ve never heard anyone say before. Refreshing, inspiring, and thrilling all at once.

  2. Someone sent me a link, with a few words suggesting thier post might be ironic,
    There you were, earing hooped and I thought this is a car crash, she’ll end up on the bonnet.
    How wrong was I and I apologise, what I got was a sonnet.

    There my prejudice laid bare, I wanted to point, to laugh to care,
    that someone could say hateful things without any premise.
    But the mirror turned and what did i see?
    I’m no better than those I judge to be,
    lesser than me, without any facts.

    Or indeed any maths.

    I started your vid with prejudged mind and I”m glad you’re more obviously kind,
    than me.

    Daily I deal with people from all over, Poles, Estonians, Czech and Moldovans.
    I can honestly say they’re a pleasure to know,
    Always polite they put brits to shame.
    Never a moan and I know them by name,

    We’re a nation of mongrels from Vikings to Celts, our queen is a German her husband a Greek, I’m mostly irish you’re possibly Dutch.

    Much can be made of them and us, but who are the they and who is the us?

  3. I live in the Tempe Arizona where immigration is a ‘hot topic’. I would love to see you perform here, the people here are stuck in ‘Primary Mathematics’ too. I shared this with my son and he was blown away, and I cried at how it touched both of us Well done sister!

  4. got to give a massive thanks to Scroobius pip for playing your Mathematics peice on his XFM show, would never have found you otherwise

    great work 🙂

  5. Hi hollie, i just wanted to tell u how ur poem ‘wow’ has impacted my life so deeply. I am a single mum of a 1 n a half yr old n ive also had a serius eating disorder for 13 years. Since i viewed ur poem ‘wow’, i have abstained from harming my body through my eating disorder. To me, this is a HUGE thing. U can even begin to know how much ur poem is helping me. Thank u so very much. Ur so intelliegent, wise n beautiful.

    • Hi Ash,

      That is such a brilliant thing to hear and I am so unbelievably happy you wrote this. it is so so difficult to deal with before, let alone after birth. I still read the poem myself as I fall into the trap of standing and looking at my body and judging it. My friend told me a body is a funciton to help you experience things and if it’s working for that, be grateful. That kind of changed my outlook a look. It worked! I have a daughter! Take care and really thanks so much xxx

    • I read your comment, Ash, and just wanted to share how incredible I think you are for not harming yourself because of your daughter. SO, SO hard. I know she’s grateful. Take good care of yourself.

  6. Hi Holly, I’ve been arguing with the ignorance surrounding me for years and I’ve never heard it put so eloquently as in your poetry. I’m not an immigrant but I welcome them into this country and I hate the xenophobic hatred that people in England have about immigration. Thank you, you inspired me

  7. Thank you for being you and the huge community service you are sending out into the world, Holly! I just saw your “Touch” rap today, and was so moved. The Ecstatic Truth. May we free our minds and remember that we are wild far beyond the prefab technical box. So we can give birth to love, and community, and deep green evolution.

  8. Hi Hollie

    I saw your Mathematics video on Upworthy a few weeks ago and have spent weeks looking for it again. It was fantastic. Please come and visit Australia – you could really open some minds here.


  9. You are so damn beautiful and ever so clever it makes the hair on my arms stand. Thank you ms McNish, you are on the list of people I’d like to meet….I wish.

  10. Wow, just listened to Embarrassed and it completely summed up how I felt when I was breastfeeding my eldest daughter, I was 21 and was unsure where I was allowed to feed her. Amazing work Hollie keep it up.
    I’m going back on You Tube to watch some more x

  11. Hollie, I just watched your YouTube video, Embarrased. Thank you for this. As a mom of a breastfeeding toddler, and a woman who has spent a career fighting for social justice, your words and your passion brought me to tears. The thought of any woman feeling that she needs to hide in a public toilet to breastfeed breaks my heart and makes me so very angry. Our babies deserve so much better than that filth. Shame on those who make any mother feel dirty for feeding their baby. But more importantly, cheers to you for shining a light.

  12. One of my friends posted one of your videos on Youtube and I am now hooked.. Thank you so much for saying what we all should not be afraid to say. You are fabulous and I look forward to hearing more of your poetry/spoken word.

  13. Hey, Hollie. I listened to your spoken word video Cupcakes ans Scones as well as Mathematics. I have to say I’m blown away. I was wondering if you were interested in a collaboration for a film I’m working on (in which the principal character is a writer/poet). I think you bring a lot of intelligence to your pieces and that’s precisely the kind of thoughts I would like the character to have. Let me know if there is any more information I can give you regarding our project and I would be happy to fill you in a bit more.

    Thanks so much!
    Daniel Gonzalez

  14. Just stumbled upon your youtube videos, and I am blown away. You are absolutely amazing. Your flow, delivery and content is simply out of this world. I cant decide which video I like better, but Touch and Mathematics gave me a chill.

    You are amazing.

  15. Jim Beaver (Uncle Bobby on the TV show Supernatural) posted your “Embarrassed” youtube video. It brought tears to my eyes. Your writing and the way you deliver it is so honest and beautiful. You are incredible and I look forward to listening to more of your poetry! Thank you for putting out there for us to indulge in. I’m not a mother, but I know that when I become one, I’ll remember you and be inspired to not let people make me feel shame for something that is so natural. Thank you again. ♥

  16. Just saw your “embarrassed” work on the news in California. True words. My mother and sister are involved in childbirth education, and I’m going to share it with them this weekend. Congratulations on your little one. We have one that just turned two and one more on the way. Enjoyed your words!

  17. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    As a mother of two young boys, Breastfeeding in hiding seemed so f-ed up. You have composed this so beautifully that surely you will make an impact on those who look down on nourishing a baby in the best way possible.

  18. You are so inspiring I don’t know what to do with myself right now. After Mathematics and Embarrassed I think I want to do spoken word myself. I right poetry every now and then but I always end up throwing them away a few minutes later. So thank you for inspiring me. I can’t wait to listen to more of your work. 🙂

  19. Your piece, “Embarrassed” is phenomenal. I dare say you are speaking, concisely and eloquently, I might add, for many mothers around the world and in the US in particular. I am a midwife in Florida and have proudly shared this on my personal and professional wall and will be encouraging others to do so, also. Thank you, Hollie, for being a voice for breastfeeding woman who have felt the same way as you. BTW, get ready to go viral! ❤

  20. Hi Hollie, I just found you via Emma Pickett (@MakesMilk) who Tweeted your “Embarassed” video. My heart felt so full listening to your passion. Thank you for what you are doing to raise awareness about the importance of nursing in public. Big hug to you!

  21. Hi, I just listened to your poem, Embarrassed, about breastfeeding. I’m from Canada and have been breastfeeding my daughter for the past year and so deeply identified with what you had to say. In the hospital we were given free samples of formula and it keeps coming in the mail and it is absolutely uncomfortable to feed my daughter in public even though I’m proud that I’m doing the healthiest thing for her and that I’m bonding with her, even though no one could see what I was doing the few times I had to do it they stared and commented and made me very uncomfortable and if I’m doing the best thing for my daughter and it’s been around since the beginning of man.. unlike formula, then I don’t understand why. I hope your incredible words make it out to a lot more people. Thank you.

  22. Hollie, I just listened to your breastfeeding poem. Go, Hollie, go! I, too, breastfed my four children publicly when they were babies. Mothering my babies was the best part of my life. Be proud of giving your baby your very best.

  23. I just saw your video about breastfeeding in public.you nailed it!! Great job. Thank you for giving another much needed voice to mothers and babies.

  24. Hollie McNish deserves our support for her courage to speak truth to power in her defense of what is natural, beautiful and supportive of life.

  25. I’m sitting here in tears. 8 years I’ve been nursing kids and I never never feel comfortable nursing in public and I nurse in public all the time. I don’t understand why I can’t get over it. I hate that I have to make jokes or avoid eye contact or pretend I’m rocking him to sleep. I have no reason to feel ashamed but I always do.

  26. Just watched your poem on breast feeding in public and wanted to say “go you!!” I fed in public and only ever got positive responses from people saying it was nice not to see a bottle shoved in a babies mouth but I have friends who have had your experience and really feel your upset. Keep campaigning 🙂 x

  27. Thank you for taking on breastfeeding in public – and with such passion! It’s a topic that, sadly, is always relevant. I wrote a book called “The Breastfeeding Cafe: Mothers Share the Joys, Challenges, and Secrets of Nursing” (2005) that has a whole chapter about nursing in public. You should check out the stories – they are wonderful! The whole book is about what it means to nurse in a bottle-feeding culture. My favorite line was from a woman who was asked by a young waiter if she could go nurse in the bathroom because it might bother the other diners. She replied (and read this in an American, southern drawl, “Oh honey…he’s not nursin’. He’s just lickin’ my nipple ’til he falls asleep!” The waiter was so flustered that he left her alone and both mother and baby finished their meals in peace! 🙂

  28. Just watched Embarrassed. Thank you for this. NO one should have to eat in a bathroom. 22 years ago, my daughter did and I am sorry that babies still have to. Thanks for putting this out there. I blogged about it on my blog.

  29. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for saying what I feel while trying to nurse my fourth son (the only one that would ever latch and nurse). Thank you for giving me the confidence and encouragement to not run to my car next time we are out and to just feed him. To nurse him and not feel scandalous, scared, and stared at. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. In a world were I see tube tops and halters, sexy women showing off, why should I be the one hiding from others? I am just feeding my son. And damn well proud of it. Thank you!

  30. Just saw your “Embarrassed” video. As a father of four having gone through the public feeding nonsense I would just like to say, you go girl.

  31. I just finished watching your poem on Breastfeeding. I absolutely loved it. I was moved to tears because oh, how I can relate. I tandem breastfeed my 1.5Y son and 3M old daughter. I’ve grown accustom to the breast double standard but I love that you brought attention to it. You rock!

  32. Just discovered you and your blog from a facebk posted vid of Embarrassed. Really really cool to hear your words, powerful message and great punchy rhymes. You have another big fan and happily enthusiastic follower, I’m looking forward to seeing and reading more of your slam. So, keep it up sister! and hope you’re enjoying plenty of wordrage today! 😉 x

  33. Hollie, a friend of mine, an Irishman who lives with his family in Denmark, sent me a link to your stunning and bold response to breast feeding shame. I would like to spread this on my blog, as well as link to some of your other amazing work, but I wanted to ask – the video at YouTube varies in several major points from the transcript provided there. Which version do you prefer? Frankly, I feel as though the rendition you delivered on screen is more powerful, but I want to reference the “canonical” version. As a man who has three wonderful children, now grown but all breast-fed, and who watched his own wife struggle to find places to feed her babies without being chased off, I applaud your courage and determination counter a purityrannical mindset that far too many people – women included – have bought into.

  34. Dear Dear Hollie, just saw your piece “Embarrassed”…Now I’m even more humiliated by the function ignorance surrounding all of us. You are an amazingly gifted Mother to your child. (and all those who get to share your poetry and life force)
    Please carry on and keep up the great work. The future clearly needs all the help it can get.
    Thank YOU…

  35. Hollie,
    Thank you for your poem on breastfeeding in public. It touched me. 30 years ago I faced the same dilemma and breastfed my son in public everywhere nonetheless. Things haven’t changed much, huh?

  36. As someone who has practiced immigration law for a long time, I adored ‘Mathematics’ and wish our politicians (and the average citizen) would progress from primary math on this issue.

  37. I just saw “Embarrassed” and loved it! Not only were the words spot on but so was all the non-verbal communication. You’re a very eloquent speaker and I’m sharing the video for all the same reasons it was created. Even after watching other videos I see the nonsense here in the US isn’t much different than in England.

  38. I just listened to your ’embarrassed’ poem about breast-feeding. It brought me to tears. I turned to formula with my first daughter partly because I couldn’t stand the rude looks of disgust from people of all ages. I was only 17 & I thought breast-feeding was unnatural. I’m now 22 with an EBF 7 month old & I will feed him where ever he needs it & I think because of the confidence I have, I haven’t received one nasty comment or look. Breast feeding is the most natural thing and it should be cherished not pushed into a toilet cubicle. Your inspiring!

  39. Whilst I was still in the delivery room I was told I wasn’t in a state to feed my new born baby and what formula would I like them to give him. I was shocked. Please keep using your talent to explain so powerfully the troubles and stigma that breast feeding mums face, and we will do our best to spread your work! I’m also married to a non-UK citizen and your poem about immigration touched me hugely, it will give me strength if we ever decide to settle in England. Keep up the wonderful work and by the looks of it there are thousands of us behind you!

  40. Thank you so much for “Embarrassed”. So powerful, I have listened to it 3 times now and cry everytime. I have never felt as judged about my decision to breastfeed, and to do so in public, as I did in the UK and by some of my UK relatives – including my Mum. I live in Australia but did UK visits with my son – who refused a bottle despite all the kind and cruel tricks to change his mind – and then my daughter when they were just over 6mths). Although it is far from judgement free here, I’ve breastfed on beaches in bars in buses and at BBQs with “no worries”! But, from the top to the bottom of the UK I was advised by well meaning people to keep it confided to hotel rooms, the hire car and … public toilets! And, it doesn’t have to be actual words or comments, you just get a vibe! although I must say Oxford was very welcoming! And I’m an older mum who could afford the powdered stuff, my heart aches for the young mums and families with limited cash who could save so much if they were just given the support to provide their baby the most valuable (and expensive) liquid on this planet, for free.

  41. Hi Hollie!
    I just saw your video Embarrassed about breast feeding in public, and I was blown away. I’ve never heard such a strong argument for it. I breastfed my little girl and went through the same situation as you. I had a breastfeeding cover, but my baby didnt like it over her head. She would be too distracted to eat. So I would end up in a stall, as you did.
    I’m now expecting again, and thanks to your voice adding to what I hope is a growing pro-breastfeeding movement, I think I’ll be braver and stronger in my right to feed my baby the healthiest milk there is for him/her, even when in public. We women can’t hide out anymore.
    Thank you SO MUCH for your strong words. I’ve shared your video with my friends on Facebook.

  42. I just watched the YouTube video addressing breast feeding in public. I feel for you, I was even chucked out of the toilets (on a chair near the sinks) by a cleaner when feeding my daughter back in 2005. The feeling of guilt and hopelessness is heartbreaking.
    Your poem put into words how all mothers feel when they are confronted with disapproval by feeding in public. It’s a huge, huge shame and you voiced it so brilliantly xx

  43. A friend of mine posted ‘Embarassed’ on facebook. I cried. I followed the web address to this page and listened to some others. ‘Wow’..also made me cry. You are truly amazing and inspiring!

  44. Hi there, just wanted to say thank you. A friend of mine sent me a link to “mathematics” a few week ago, and since then i have been plastering your youtube clips all over facebook – i hope thats ok.

    Yesterday i went for a wander and found Hidden woods and Horizontal and i was amazed at how you took such simple premise and weaved them into glistening webs that just get deeper and richer without losing any of the core message. I also discovered Touch and Learning language Yesterday. They are at the same time, beautiful, thought provoking, sexy and a bit racey, but warm and honest and gentle. You have totally avoided making them sleazy or smutty – though i think thats due to their honesty.

    Words have always been my friend and companion. I have been writing for myself for over thirty years, whenever someone says to me, i have found this poet, or this poem – you should listen….. i roll my eyes. Its normally some wafty piece of new age nonesense, Abstract forms and empty words, disguised as colourful prose. Worse still, its dark despair, Angry violence from someone with no life experience, written in the plush bedroom of a 5 room house, surrounded with internet, TV and video consoles, and an ever eager to please mum bringing alcopops and cooked dinners. I cant relate to these people, these words. I dont fit into neat tick boxes, at best i’m left field, at worst argumentative and antagonistic. Sorry i digressed quite badly there lol.

    The classics are the same, I dont get them. They have as little relevance for me as the works of Shakespeare. Not of this time, and not of this place.

    And there you stand, with your freckles, and your ginger hair, and dont forget your hoop earrings. And you talk about what matters to you. You are open and honest and speaking from the heart. And it doesnt matter whether you are angry or at peace, confused, hurt or enjoying a moments bliss, you explain it all in such simple beautiful terms. And you – i can relate to. Thank you for bringing back my love of poetry.

    Oh – as an aside, Language Learning, is the most delicious outpouring of love i have ever heard.

    ps…. I am having real trouble posting. even though i was logged in via facebook, it was still causing an error and had to be completed using email and name details

  45. Dear Hollie,
    I just watched your you tube video “embarrassed”. Your words are beautiful. I wish we could blast this video on every single television set around the globe.
    I have a 6 month old little boy. I too breast feed him. Why wouldn’t I?
    I don’t need to tell you all the great health benefits of BF, you already know.
    I’ve been looked at funny, disapprovingly , judged by other people as I breast feed in public. I cover my breast, not for myself, but for the people around me. For their comfort.
    At first I felt awkward, embarrassed and a little ashamed. But I would look down at my perfect, beautiful little boy in my arms and see him fast asleep and his little hand resting on my breast, as if saying, this is mine and I love it. How could I take that away from the one human life that means the universe to me. Nonsense!
    It’s a bond no one can understand.
    I’ll take the dirty looks, whispers, milk stained shirts and sheets any day as long as I get to see that little hand resting on my breast.

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