Events - Festival 2020

Past & Present

Friday 4 March, 14:15 - 15:15
Town Hall, Queens Gardens - Council Chamber

Alison Burns and others on Elizabeth Burns
Margaret Jull Costa on Sophia de Mello Breyner and Colin Rorrison

Elizabeth Burns studied English at the University of St Andrews and went on to become an exceptionally gifted and much published poet. Heralded as a new talent in 1994 in Dream State, the seminal anthology of emerging Scottish poets, she went on to achieve critical and popular acclaim before her premature death in 2015. Although in later years she lived in England, she regularly attended StAnza and was well known and loved in the Scottish poetry community. Her sister Alison Burns has curated this Past and Present session in which Elizabeth’s friends read their favourite of her poems. Her work also features in the Potter, Painter and Poet exhibition at the Preservation Trust Museum.   

Translator Margaret Jull Costa introduces The Perfect Hour, a selection of poems by the poet and storyteller Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen translated by Colin Rorrison before his sudden death at the age of 28. Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919–2004) is one of Portugal’s best-loved writers, her main subjects being childhood and youth, nature and, above all, the sea. The search for harmony is also reflected in post-revolution political poems, and her response to classical literature features in Greek-inspired poems in the collection.

Supported by the Portuguese Embassy


Council Chamber – Town Hall, Queens Gardens

Location: At the top of Queens Gardens, on the corner with South Street

Includes: Council Chamber, Supper Room, Auditorium/Public Hall, Fife Contemporary foyer

Right in the centre of St Andrews, The Town Hall...