Stellar agenda in store for StAnza's 19th year

Stellar agenda in store for StAnza's 19th year

Andrew McMillan / credit: Innes Morrison

Lineup at St Andrews poetry fest includes Don Paterson, Lemn Sissay, Christine de Luca and Jemima Foxtrot

We're waxing lyrical about StAnza: Scotland's international poetry festival, which takes place each spring in St Andrews. There are two themes for 2016: 'City Lines' and 'Body of Poetry', and there are hundreds of acts lined up to tackle them.

The big headliners to look out for include Guardian First Book Award-winner Andrew McMillan, who'll be performing at Parliament Hall on Sat 5 Mar alongside Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize-winner Fiona Benson, plus two-time T S Eliot prize-winner Don Paterson, who's appearing with poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay at the Byre on Fri 4 Mar.

Other notable guests include Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca, who is performing 'Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains', with saxophonist Tommy Smith at the Byre on Wed 2 Mar, as well as Jo Bell, Pascale Petit, Sean O'Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside.

That said, over 100 readings, performances and discussions and events will be attended from poets are writers from all over the world, including Australia, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Georgia, Ireland and the US. This year, the festival also has its first dedicated translated language focus with a strand of events showcasing German poetry (or Deutsche Gedichte, if you will).

The official festival launch takes place at the Byre on Fri 4 Mar, with a mult-arts performance from Thomas Lynch, Rita Bradd, Jane Yolen and Rebecca Sharp.

Jemima Foxtrot in Melody
Spoken word and fragments of song are combined in this debut show, which explores how music attaches itself to memories, people and places.
Sat 5 Mar, 1pm, £6.50 (£5)

Breakfast at the Poetry Cafe: City Lines - Darran Anderson, Matthew Griffiths & Kevin Mclean
Coffee, pastries, and a discussion on how architecture and the theme of 'City Lines' interacts with poetry.
Sat 5 Mar, 10am, £4.50 (£3.50)

The Stanza Lecture: Thomas Lynch
Talk from Thomas Lynch, distinguished American poet and essayist on the theme 'Body of Poetry'.
Thu 3 Mar, 3.30pm, £4.50 (3.50)

Imprisoned Poets' Reading
Writers including Jo Shapcott and Andrew McMillan read a selection of poems by imprisoned poets.
Sat 5 Mar, 7.10pm, free

Sean O'Brien
Intimate reading in the company of the multiple prize-winning poet, critic, and playwright Sean O’Brien.
Sun 6 Mar, 3.45pm, £6 (£4)

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The StAnza Lecture: The stanza - Thomas Lynch

This year’s lecture will be delivered by the distinguished American poet, essayist and funeral director, Thomas Lynch. For his StAnza lecture, he takes as his topic one of our themes for this year: the Body of Poetry. Thomas Lynch is the author of five collections of poems and three collections of essays including The…

Breakfast at the Poetry Café: City Lines - , Darran Anderson, Matthew Griffiths & Kevin Mclean

Wake up and smell the Poetry Café! Our breakfast panel discussion events offer a relaxed start to the day with a group of poets and other festival participants over coffee and pastries. For this year’s City Lines theme and our focus on architecture as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we look…

Poetry Café: Jemima Foxtrot in Melody

Jemima Foxtrot interweaves spoken word with fragments of song to explore how music attaches itself to memories, people and places.

Imprisoned Poets' Reading - Brian Johnstone, Jo Shapcott & Andrew McMillan

Short readings from the work of imprisoned poets, presented by Brian Johnstone from Scottish PEN. PEN International is one of the world's longest established human rights organisations and the only worldwide association of writers. They support writers who are imprisoned or otherwise denied the opportunity to read their…