The festival starts in 10 days’ time so it all feels very imminent, and we have some updates for you. Further to last week’s announcement about the additional Douglas Dunn Round Table, I’m pleased to advise of two new readings at the festival. We’re delighted to have added Pippa Little to our programme. She was shortlisted for the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year award in 2017 for her latest collection, Twist (Arc Publications), and will now read at StAnza on Friday 9 March at 8.00pm; and John Glenday who is already on the programme for a sold-out workshop and short appearance in our opening night event, will also now take part in a Round Table intimate reading on Saturday 10 March at 3.45pm. These changes to the programme came about because Ko Un has had to cancel his appearance at StAnza for health reasons, and while the circumstances are unfortunate, we’re all the more grateful to Pippa and John stepping up at the last minute and delighted to be featuring them in these events.
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 10 March at 7.10pm in the Byre. Everyone is welcome to come and experience a moment of solidarity through the collective yet diverse voice of poetry. This year we'll be sharing poems from Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press, 2017), a bold, brave and beautiful anthology which explores and celebrates UK disabled and D/deaf poetics.
The StAnza Slam on Saturday night is another chance for performers. We have a full line-up for this but do come along anyway 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 with MC, Andy Jackson. You can find out about all the ways in which you can participate at the festival at our Taking Part link.
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.
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!), engaging with concepts of masks, persona and identity in a hands-on way with the masks and moustaches on offer, 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.
And if you haven’t sorted your accommodation yet, several people have managed to book just this week so there are still places there, if you get in quickly.
Poetry is arriving here every day now, books for displays, including a multitude of sma buiks from Poems-For-All in California, poems on plant labels, translations and poems commissioned, artwork and films. It’s all building up to something very exciting coming very soon.
Meantime, however you spend it, enjoy your weekend and we look forward to seeing you in St Andrews in early March.