Stanza 2014 poetry festival programme includes Jacob Polley and Carly Brown

Stanza 2014 poetry festival programme includes Jacob Polley and Carly Brown

credit: Chris Scott

Scotland’s most renowned poetry festival takes place in St Andrews

This year will see over 40 festivals celebrating literature, storytelling and poetry across Scotland. Speaking of poetry, the most renowned is StAnza, the annual international festival that takes over St Andrews each chilly March. After the closure of the Byre Theatre last year, the festival decamped to the Town Hall for its main base of operations. Part of the magic of StAnza, however, is how poets and poetry permeate the entire town, from coffee shops to street corners.

St Andrews natives (sort of) Jacob Polley and Carly Brown are both appearing at the festival in 2014 (Fraser Gallery, Fri 7 Mar, and Byre Theatre, Thu 6 Mar, respectively). For Cumbrian-born, award-winning poet and St Andrews lecturer Jacob, ‘StAnza is a major literature festival and to have it happen very happily and successfully in this small Fife town is something to make a noise about. I think WN Herbert, who last year published Omnesia, an extraordinary double volume of poems, is pretty unmissable, and I’m intrigued to see Alexander Hutchison and Brian Turner discuss David Jones and Isaac Rosenberg. Both these events happen on Friday 7 March, so I’ll be spoilt that day.’

Carly Brown, originally from Austin, Texas, and now studying English literature at St Andrews, is the current Scottish Slam Champion and has been volunteering at StAnza since she began her degree. ‘StAnza is unique because it brings so many diverse international poets together in one place. St Andrews is so manageable and small, you can see many poets and events in one day. Plus, I got my start in Slam Poetry from winning the StAnza slam last year!’

StAnza, various venues, St Andrews, Wed 5–Sun 9 Mar.

Poetry Café: Carly Brown and McGuire

The first of this year’s lively Poetry Café events offers poetry to spice up the lunch included in the ticket price from two ace slammers. Carly Brown is our local slam champion. She rocketed off from winning the StAnza 2013 slam to take the Scottish Slam crown and then to represent Scotland in the World Slam…

Jacob Polley

A poet and novelist whose latest collection Jackself won the T.S.Eliot Prize and was described as ‘a firework of a book’. His poetry is complex, inventive and exciting.

Past & Present: Alexander Hutchinson and Brian Turner

Our Past & Present sessions present contemporary speakers giving a personal response to a favourite past poet. For 2014, to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, our Past & Present sessions focus on poets who wrote in response to war. In this event Alexander Hutchinson offers a searching…

StAnza 2015 Preview

Scotland's International Poetry Festival comes to Edinburgh, with this event presented by Eleanor Livingstone, the festival's director. It also features Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca, and award-winning poet Agnes Torok.

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