Free Workshops at StAnza

Saturday 18 February 2017, 09:59
The festival starts in 10 days time so it all feels very imminent. As well as a line-up of headline poets, new voices, diverse readings and performances to entice you, there are lots of way in which you can take part at StAnza. If you were too late to secure a ticket for our five creative writing workshops from Tuesday through to Saturday - they are all sold out - I'm delighted to let you know about two further workshops we're offering. Not only are they not sold out, they're free!
On Saturday you can join Roderick Manson at The Appointed Hour to explore writing in collaboration with others. We piloted this last year and it was a great success. Full details online and if you'd like to sign up, email You'll even get a chance to give a short public reading at the end.
If you're keen on performing your poetry, Sunday's free workshop - Make it Loud - is for you. Some of the acclaimed Loud Poets collective will be leading a workshop on developing and polishing up your performance skills. Again, full details online and to sign up, email
If you don't have time to give several hours to a workshop, surely you can spare 10 minutes to join this year's Collective Reading on Saturday 4th March at 6.50pm in the Byre. Everyone is welcome to come and experience a moment of solidarity through the collective yet diverse voice of poetry. With texts which address oppression, hope and survival, we'll be remembering how poetry offers us a way of mapping the world and of building bridges, not walls, between people.
The StAnza Slam on Saturday night is another chance for performers. To sign up, email, or come along and enjoy the late night fun and passion of poetry. There are also two Open Mics if you want a chance to read, try our early Friday evening Quiet Open Mic or later on Friday, Risk a Verse, this year with a new MC, Andy Jackson.
If you plan to be out and about around St Andrews during the festival, watch out for poems on windows. You could join this year's organised Poetry Walk or make your own route with another project for this year which we're about to launch.
As ever, there will be lots of small intimate ways of engaging with poetry at the festival, whether it's by taking an Inspire sheet or dropping in at MUSA for inspiration and then heading off to find your own poem, or by trying on a temporary poetry tattoo (they went like hot cakes last year, don't leave it too late to get one!), helping put a poem En Route around town or dabbling with poetry scrabble.
You can get more information on our website or ask at the Festival Desk during the festival.
And if you haven't booked your tickets, why not make that this weekend's priority, before any more events sell out. All you need to know about booking is on our How to Book page.
Categories: News

The Remedies - Review by DURA

Friday 17 February 2017, 08:33

"Katharine Towers’ second poetry collection, The Remedies, is
a clarion call to a kind of modern day  transcendentalism. She might
not wear a hairshirt or, Walden-like live off the land in the woods,
yet, as a poet, she does invite us to consider the lilies, to look at
small miracles and moments of extraordinariness that arise from those
quiet moments of contemplative introspection."

These lines are from the opening paragraph of a review on the DURA website by Gail Low of The Remedies by Katherine Towers who will be reading at StAnza on 5th March at 11.30am. We shall also have a small installation based on The Remedies in the Chemist Shop at the Preservation Trust Museum, running from Thursday through to Sunday, 2 - 5 March. Do make sure not to miss it if you're at the festival. Meantime,  to read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage

Categories: News

Leasungspell - Review by DURA

Saturday 11 February 2017, 05:59

(Smokestack Books, 2016); pbk, £8.99

Whether you take that iconic, still-contentious word as an exclamation, an exhortation, or accept Heaney’s gently Hibernian “So”, whatever aspects of the Anglo Saxon epic you unravel in  Leásungspell ,  from the first Bob Beagrie alerts you that all is not as it seems."  '

These are the opening lines of a review on the DURA website by Beth McDonough of Leasungspell, which will be performed at StAnza on Saturday 4th March at 15:30 by Bob Beagrie and friend - an Anglo Saxon fool's tale, an epic journey through the wilds of the Dark Ages.  To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

Build bridges, not walls, with StAnza

Sunday 5 February 2017, 09:29

Join us for a moment of solidarity in our Collective Reading at this year's festival. At StAnza 2016, our collective reading saw around a hundred people, poets and passers by, Byre dinners and more, reading aloud different poems all at the same time, filling the Byre Theatre with poetry. Last year, we read poems written and published in solidarity with refugees. This year's collective reading will celebrate the porous borders between languages and people, and we're inviting you to join us to read poems from Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating fifty years of Modern Poetry in Translation and from Lifesaving Poems, (both published by Bloodaxe Books). With texts which address oppression, hope and survival, we'll be remembering how poetry offers us a way of mapping the world and of building bridges, not walls, between people. We'll be inviting international guests to the festival to join us in their own languages to turn a babble of poetry into a Babel. If you can't be with us in person.

No previous experience of reading poetry is necessary, and quiet voices are as welcome as commanding ones, so please do come along to the Byre for this special event. We hope that for a few minutes, with your help, we can collectively fill the Byre with the sound of these poems.

And if you can't make it along to the Byre, you can join us virtually or even in spirit. We shall post a poem here which you can read loud with us wherever you are at 19:00 hours on Saturday 4th March. If you want to Go Live on Facebook while you do so, then do tag us in, or send us photographs later and we'll post them on our social media for the event.

Meantime, here are some photographs of last year's event.

Photo by Terry Lee

Photo by Terry Lee

Photo by Terry Lee

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 278: Cumbernauld

Sunday 5 February 2017, 09:03
New Town
New neighbours spoke to my mother
of old, unfamiliar lives.
Tenemental Riddrie, Dennistoun, Townhead;
tubercular, crowded, tarmac-flattened.
No growing up cowed by North Sea winds -
lungs full of linoleum
Kernel of a town, newly minted -
hand-picked by some benevolent giant,
squarely placed, fully formed.
Ready to receive refugees
from grimy beginnings.
Spit on a hankie and rub them clean.
The town planner specified shiny, new materials:
Bright, white concrete
punctuated by primary-coloured doors,
The public relations officer whispered seductively
of fitted carpets;
built-in kitchens;
electric hobs;
and adjustable central heating.
The acidic scent of yellow broom
tip-toed from each pebbled planter,
wove around our wrists as we belted balls off brick.
Every tree was circled and guarded
judged too young to survive the winter.
They flourished, breaking through stone.
Budding and bursting,
while we fried eggs on the pavement,
in a scalding Scottish summer.
Sarah Smith


View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

A triple launch for StAnza

Friday 27 January 2017, 20:19

We were delighted that at our Edinburgh festival preview event, we were able not only to launch the brochure and poster for this year's festival, but also to have the premiere of a wonderful short film made at StAnza over two days last March. The film was commissioned by Festivals in Fife and filmed by Rennie Digital Productions, who rushed it through the final stages to allow us to screen it on Tuesday. You can now see the film online and we hope you'll enjoy it. There are lots of interesting comments, moments captured and familiar faces. 

We're also thrilled that the brochure is now published and available, and the next job is to get it distributed. If you have received brochures from us through the post in recent years, then you will be on our mailing list and we shall be sending you a copy very soon. It will also be available at the Scottish Poetry Library, around St Andrews, and elsewhere. We hope you enjoy browing through it's pages. The artwork on the cover is from Hilke MacIntyre's exhibition at StAnza which will be on display at the Byre Theatre from 7th February until 31st March.  

You can meantime view PDF icon StAnza Brochure 2017 Final.pdf


Categories: News
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