Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside announced for StAnza 2014
- Calum Ralston
- 3 October 2013
Sujata Bhatt, David Constantine, Tishani Doshi, Brian Turner, Menna Elfyn and Ron Silliman also to appear
StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, has revealed the names of some of the poets who will be appearing at the festival from Wed 5–Sun 9 Mar 2014, including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside. The full program, which will not be released until November, also includes Sujata Bhatt, David Constantine, Tishani Doshi, Brian Turner, Menna Elfyn and Ron Silliman.
Muldoon is something of a giant of the poetry world and attracting him to Stanza for the first time in his career is something of a coup for the festival organisers. A multi-award winning poet, Muldoon is considered one of the most significant English language writers in decades. He keeps esteemed company alongside Carol Anne Duffy, who in 2009 became the first woman (and the first Scot) to be appointed Britain’s poet laureate. Her work concerning identity and the alienated within our society is sure to contribute to the festival’s theme, ‘A Common Wealth of Poetry’, which invites poets from all over the Commonwealth to contribute.
Among those travelling to the festival from overseas is Sujata Bhatt. Hailing from Pune, India, Bhatt’s poetry is heavily steeped in language and the physical act of speaking, as shown in her work ‘Search For My Tongue’. Her exploration of how we use language to unite and also divide people should add another dimension to next year’s event.
A secondary theme for the festival, ‘Words Under Fire’, will examine poetry from the First World War in its centenary year. American poet Brian Turner is among those contributing to this strand: an active serviceman in 2003 who was present in Iraq, he has been lauded for his work concerning his experiences of war. Turner is a war-poet in similar tradition to Wilfred Owen: brutally honest about the devastation of war and unflinching in his use of imagery to depict it.
StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, various venues, St Andrews, Wed 5–Sun 9 Mar 2014.