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StAnza 2015 boasts a world-class lineup

11 Feb 2015

St Andrews' international poetry festival features Simon Armitage, Bill Manhire and Alice Notley

‘There’s a long tradition of poetry festivals in St Andrews,’ explains Eleanor Livingstone, director of the town’s current incumbent StAnza. ‘It dates back to the 1970s, when the US writer Jay Parini, then studying at St Andrews University, started…

Rally & Broad

5 Dec 2014

A busy end to a brilliant year for the spoken word event run out of Edinburgh

’We knew we wanted poetry and spoken word, but … even more so,’ says poet and spoken word performer Jenny Lindsay of her and Rachel McCrum’s fast-growing literary platform Rally & Broad, before going on to outline its manifesto-come-shopping list of…

Flash Fiction: To Edinburgh by Valerie Gillies

12 Nov 2014

A poem from her forthcoming collection The Cream of the Well

Stone above storms, you rear upon the ridge: we live on your back, its crag-and-tail, spires and tenements stacked on your spine, the castle and the palace linked by one rope. A spatchcock town, the ribcage split open like a skellie, a kipper…

Otolith Group: I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another

21 Oct 2014

Film installation of Lebanese-American writer and artist Etel Adnan reading poetry in Aberdeen

To coincide with their Middle Eastern and North African film season, Peacock Visual Arts have scheduled the installation of the Otolith Group’s film ‘I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another’. The film captures renowned Lebanese-American…

Simon Armitage and Bill Manhire headline StAnza poetry festival in 2015

1 Oct 2014

Sinéad Morrissey, Ian Duhig and Alice Notley also set to perform at annual event in St Andrews

StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival, has revealed that Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s Poet Laureate Bill Manhire will be among its headliners for 2015. The annual event takes place in venues across St Andrews but has its hub at the Byre Theatre…

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Icarus Falling

18 Aug 20144 stars

Physical theatre meets performance poetry in strong solo from Australian performance poet

’I am all words and nothing more,’ or so declares the aptly-named Australian performance poet Scott Wings at the start of this strong, concentrated solo show. He’s speaking in character as Icarus, the lad from Greek mythology whose manufactured…

Standby for Tape Back-up

18 Aug 20143 stars

Arresting performance/video installation mash-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Like his fellow Aisle 16 poetry boyband-ers – Luke Wright, John Osborne and Joe Dunthorne, to name a few – Ross Sutherland's a talented guy. That's certainly evident in his Fringe show this year, Standby for Tape Backup, a mash-up of drama, comedy…

Sweet Potato and Callaloo: Voices from the Caribbean Diaspora

15 Aug 20145 stars

Project exploring Scotland's role in slave trade, featuring Dorothea Smartt and Millicent AA Graham

Fresh from their appearances at The Empire Cafe, a remarkable project exploring Glasgow and Scotland's under-acknowledged role in the transatlantic slave trade, come four poets from the Caribbean Diaspora. Warmly introduced by Scottish poet Jackie Kay…

Interview: Rachel McCrum and Jenny Lindsay talk poetry at the Edinburgh Festivals 2014

15 Aug 2014

Poets are popping up all over the capital this august, including Luke Wright and Hollie McNish

Between the crowds, the queues, the small-hours bedtimes and the daytime drinking, moments of poetic transcendence don’t necessarily come high on the August-in-Edinburgh agenda. But those familiar with Edinburgh’s dynamic live literature and spoken word…

Prelude to a Number

11 Aug 20144 stars

A heady mixture of poetry, patterns and musical wonder from Geddes Loom at Edinburgh Fringe

Despite its fascination with the mathematical phenomena of the ‘ Golden ratio ’ and Phi, patterns said by some to run throughout the mainstream conceptions of beauty, Prelude to a Number is an unmistakably human show. In an introductory address the…

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Anthem for a Doomed Youth

10 Aug 20143 stars

Poetry from the First World War performed by Guy Masterson

It is the very anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and Guy Masterson has a cold. He takes to the stage, apologising for his pink socks and creaking voice, and explains that the aim of his one-man show is to bring us the poetry of the…

300 to 1

5 Aug 20143 stars

A one man version of 300, with added WWI context, at the Edinburgh Free Fringe

The idea of converting Zack Snyder’s homoerotic slash-‘em-up 300 into a one hour, one man stage show is an inherently silly one, if only because 300 stipulates the size of its cast right there in the title. Mancunian writer/performer Matt Panesh (aka…

Threnody for the Sky Children

5 Aug 20144 stars

A zombie apocalypse romantic comedy epic poem at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Although Jack Dean’s epic poem covers zombie apocalypse, the anguish of failed love and the ravings of ‘philosophical pervert’ Slavoj Zizek, his attention to metaphorical detail and intimate performance make Threnody a touching, and emotive hour.

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: Duffy, Tennyson and Hughes showcased in Poetry for the Palace

4 Aug 2014

The exhibition aims to provide a more visual angle to the work of the Poets Laureate

Subtitled ‘Poets Laureate From Dryden to Duffy’, this exhibition seeks, says curator Deborah Clarke, to be ‘a unique mix of words, art, and voices relating to the Poets Laureate, including original manuscripts and rare editions, many personally…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: experience music and poetry in arty environments with Festival Detours

28 Jul 2014

Luke Wright, Meursault, Eilidh MacAskill and John Osborne prepare to perform in gallery settings

Detours is a series of live shows by music, poetry and theatre artists taking place in galleries across the city. As part of Edinburgh Art Festival, it aims to bring a new audience to visual art by transforming the traditional gallery space. This…

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Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Yeti

26 Jul 2014

Performance poet Gary from Leeds bags some easy exposure with his Yeti Action Pack

We thought our last bribe – a handheld 8-bit gaming console – was lo-fi. Then we received Gary from Leeds' Yeti Action Pack: a slab of cotton wool, a twig and three numbered index cards. Rather than explain what each item did/does, Gary merely assured…

Flash Fiction: The Eejit Pit by Jenny Lindsay

13 Jun 2014

A poem from one half of spoken wordsters Rally & Broad

Jaggy, numpty mooth – Wheesht wi yer chitter! The nicht wiz sair an’ jiggered; Noo, a thrang ae claes Drapt oan the eejit pit … Oor fear kist awa’ Wi carry-oot, (Braw shoogle?) Maun noo, Bidie-in, Fair morn isnae close. Jenny Lindsay is…

Flash Fiction: Meeting Buddha In Dumbarton by Nikki Magennis

16 May 2014

A short poem from the author and artist

I take the luminous one to ASDA. He says nothing much. We get a trolley, walk back and forth. I hold onto my list and steal sidelong glances. His eyes reflect TV screens, icecream, carving knives. We slow in the pickle aisle between jars of…

Niall Campbell - Moontide

29 Apr 20144 stars

A western isles poetry collection with a deft, unobtrusive sense of irony

On a first read, Niall Campbell's debut collection might seem a simple enough affair of poems about the earthy, unassuming artefacts of life on the western islands. But Moontide is at its best when these details have their metaphorical strength deflated…

Stanza 2014: Voicing the Past - their wars, your words

12 Mar 2014

A half day poetry workshop with Jenny Lewis, giving a chance to develop poetical knowledge & skills

This was a first for me and, as it turned out, a very enjoyable experience in trying to forge a poem by thinking about war and its impact on a person close to me. It was also a friendly and collaborative experience with the others in the group, many of…

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Stanza 2014: an enlightening examination of the poetry of war

12 Mar 2014

Highlighted poets include Anton Schnack, Richard Aldington, DH Lawrence and Edward Thomas

Stanza, Scotland’s International Poetry festival, delivered a programme of stimulating events in 2014. As usual there was a wonderful mix of poets, with headliners including Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside, Louis de Bernieres and, visiting the festival…

The Deep by Samuel Tongue

25 Feb 2014

Filling in our usual Flash Fiction slot, Samuel Tongue presents a short sea-themed poem

where three men were lost on a single moonlit night, their fathers combing the whitetops, splitting each running wave open, straining for a call. Samuel Tongue reads at StAnza’s Poetry in Protest, Byre Theatre, Sun 9 Mar.

Flash Fiction: Earth by Helen Sedgwick

29 Jan 2014

Poem from poet editor-in-chief at Cargo Publishing

They made the hut when they were still kids; neither of them wants to mention how it’s too small now. They crawl inside and sit on the sleeping bags that have been zipped together to make a padded floor mat. They end up with their feet sticking out of…

Valentines Day Poetry: verses for every stage of your relationship

24 Jan 2014

Poems for everything from first dates to break-ups, by Tracey S Rosenberg, William Letford and more

Step 1: The First Date 'How to Drink on the First Date' by Tracey S Rosenberg You're different. I can tell. For you I'll say: let's skip the pub entirely. I know this little place off the Links where the only drinks they serve are chocolate.

International line-up of poets set to attend 2014 Stanza poetry festival

21 Jan 2014

Carol Ann Duffy, Louis de Bernieres and Paul Muldoon among highlights of St Andrews festival

Dip your toe - or better still, take a swim - into the pool of words that makes up the 2014 Stanza poetry Festival in St Andrews from 5-9 March. This year, as ever, there is a great line-up of international and national poets reading their work…